This post is the fourth in a series. It is about “Myths” and the weird parts of scripture. The first talked about Atlantis. The second talked about Phaethon and what Myths are. The third talked about “Flood Myths” and the way they match to the Genesis flood.
This post is still on the subject of Noah and the Flood Myths, but it is going to deal with something that you probably didn’t know was a part of the story of Noah. It’s about the “Sons of God.” I also realize that at the end of my last post, I said that we’d talk about “Giants,” and we will, but I’ve discovered that this issue is SO BIG, that we need to break it down into two parts.
This issue is about the “sons of God” in Genesis. And prepare yourself, because things are about to get weird. Like…. REALLY weird, because it’s also about the Titan Gods.
Now, let me remind you about the purpose of this series. We’re looking at how “Myths” relate to the weird parts of the Bible. Our analysis is based on a passage in the Timaeus, where an ancient priest in 600 BC spoke about the actual status of “myths” in ancient cultures. Here is what he says:
There is a story, which even you have preserved, that once upon a time Paethon, the son of Helios, having yoked the steeds in his father’s chariot, because he was not able to drive them in the path of his father, burnt up all that was upon the earth, and was himself destroyed by a thunderbolt. Now this has the form of a myth, but really signifies a declination of the bodies moving in the heavens around the earth, and a great conflagration of things upon the earth, which recurs after long intervals;
. . .
And whatever happened either in your country or in ours, or in any other region of which we are informed-if there were any actions noble or great or in any other way remarkable, they have all been written down by us of old, and are preserved in our temples. (Plato, The Timaeus)
What we discover here is that “myths” aren’t “not-true stories.” Instead, the entire FORM of a myth is to take a REAL event and make it memorable by turning it into a “not-true story.” That’s VERY different!
In this post, we’re going to start at a very strange spot IN the Bible, move to non-canonical writings within the Christian and Hebrew culture, take a hard left turn into Greek Myths, and finally show how there is a STRANGE similarity between Greek Myths and stuff in the Bible.
Table of Contents
This post is long (more than 10,000 words), and so I’ll give you an outline:
- The “Sons of God” in the Bible
- What is a “Son of God”?
- Sons of God and the Absolutely Weird Psalm 82
- The Sons of God and the Flood
- The Definitely Weird Melchizedek
- Jesus’s Argument About Being “The Son of God.”
- What the Sons of God Look Like in the Bible
- Lady Wisdom
- The Spirits of Dead People
- All Other Pagan Deities
- What the Sons of God Look Like in the Bible
- Isn’t Jesus the Only Son of God?
- The Difference Between a “Son” and a “Begotten Son.”
- What is a “Son of God”?
- The Sons of God in Non-Canonical Writings
- The Sons of God in the Book of Enoch
- How Should a Christian Treat the Book of Enoch?
- The Titan Gods and Greek Myths
- Oceanus and Tethys
- Hyperion and Theia
- Coeus and Phoebe
- Mnemosyne and Themis
- Where Greek Myths and the Bible Collide
- The Most Greek-Mythical Verse in the Entire Bible
- Tartarus, the Prison of the Titan Gods on Earth
- The Quotations of the Book of Enoch by Peter
- The Sons of God and the Titans Compared
- The Moral Neutrality of Both Titans and Sons of God
- The Absence of “Marriage” Among Titans and Sons of God
- The Reproductive Capacity of Sons of God and Titans
- The Sons of God and the Titans Both “Rule.”
- Titan + Human = Giant
- Son of God + Human = Nephilim
- Both the Titans and the Sons of God Had Sexual Relations With Human Women Were Thrown into Tartarus, But Not the Others
- The Most Greek-Mythical Verse in the Entire Bible
The “Sons of God” in the Bible
The last place we left off was the Flood of Noah. Now, we’re about to talk about “Sons of God.” What I want you to first notice is that these “Sons of God” in the Bible are associated with “the Flood.” Look at this passage in Genesis:
When man began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of man were attractive. And they took as their wives any they chose. Then the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not abide in man forever, for he is flesh: his days shall be 120 years.” The Nephilim [footnote: or “Giants”] were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of man and they bore children to them. These were the mighty men who were of old, the men of renown.
The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. So the Lord said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them.” But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.
These are the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God. And Noah had three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight, and the earth was filled with violence. And God saw the earth, and behold, it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth. And God said to Noah, “I have determined to make an end of all flesh, for the earth is filled with violence through them. Behold, I will destroy them with the earth. (Genesis 6:1-12)
So here’s the question: Who are these “sons of God?” What are they? Here’s the answer: They are divine or spiritual beings.
Wait…. if that’s the case, then what is going on in Genesis 6? Well, it means that divine beings had sexual relations with human women and produced super-human people.
If that sounds weird to you, then I’m with you. But here is where we need to explore the “weird parts of scripture,” because this idea is actually all over the Bible.
What is a “Son of God”?
Now, I know that this interpretation is not “typical.” But it is definitely out there. You can find an extremely large treatment of it in Michael Heiser’s book “The Unseen Realm.” I will borrow a good bit of biblical citations and organization from him, so if you want to read more on this subject, find his stuff.
But now, let’s just jump right in and explore places where the “Sons of God” are mentioned other than here in Genesis 6.
Sons of God and the Absolutely Weird Psalm 82
Here is the one of the most explicit places that the “Sons of God” are described in their relationship to “God” as Christians understand him:
God has taken his place in the divine council;
in the midst of the gods he holds judgment:
“How long will you judge unjustly
and show partiality to the wicked? Selah
Give justice to the weak and the fatherless;
maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute.
Rescue the weak and the needy;
deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”
They have neither knowledge nor understanding,
they walk about in darkness;
all the foundations of the earth are shaken.
I said, “You are gods,
sons of the Most High, all of you;
nevertheless, like men you shall die,
and fall like any prince.”
Arise, O God, judge the earth;
for you shall inherit all the nations!
The picture that we get here is that there is a singular God who sits in judgment over a COUNCIL of “gods.” This singular God states that he had named them “gods.” However, because these “gods” did not rule correctly, they will be punished. This is the judgment he pronounces:
“How long will you judge unjustly
and show partiality to the wicked? Selah
Give justice to the weak and the fatherless;
maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute.
Rescue the weak and the needy;
deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”
The weird thing to notice is that this judgment is given to SONS OF THE MOST HIGH GOD. Strange…
The “Sons of God” and the Flood
In a previous blog-post, I explained that the word “sea” is never used in the account of the flood of Noah. But there is another interesting thing about the “flood” of Noah: It is some sort of a proper noun, and NOT an ordinary word for a flood.
The word for “flood” in the story of Noah is mabbul. It is ONLY used to describe what happened in the flood of Noah. There are thirteen occurrences of this word in the Hebrew Bible and twelve of them are in Genesis. In other words, this word is a specific word for the world wide cataclysm that occurred with “the great deluge of all.”
There is only one time outside of Genesis that this Hebrew word is used, and it comes in the Psalms. Curiously, it is also connected to the “Sons of God.”
Ascribe to the Lord, O heavenly beings, [footnote: Hebrew: “sons of God” or “sons of might”]
ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness.
The voice of the Lord is over the waters;
the God of glory thunders,
the Lord, over many waters.
The voice of the Lord is powerful;
the voice of the Lord is full of majesty.
The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars;
the Lord breaks the cedars of Lebanon.
He makes Lebanon to skip like a calf,
and Sirion like a young wild ox.
The voice of the Lord flashes forth flames of fire.
The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness;
the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.
The voice of the Lord makes the deer give birth [footnote: revocalization yields “makes the oaks to shake”]
and strips the forests bare,
and in his temple all cry, “Glory!”
The Lord sits enthroned over the flood;
the Lord sits enthroned as king forever.
May the Lord give strength to his people!
May the Lord bless his people with peace!
There is something rather remarkable in this Psalm. In this Psalm, the Lord is sitting in power, ordering “the glory due his name.” But he is not demanding it from any people we would recognize. In fact, he’s not demanding it from “people” at all.
He’s demanding it from THE SONS OF GOD. The same Sons of God that we met in Genesis 6.
The Definitely Weird Melchizedek
Finally, there is a very strange character that we meet in Genesis 14. The Flood is over. Abraham is still wandering around Canaan after coming from Ur of the Chaldeans. However, we don’t have Israel. We don’t have the law. We don’t have the Levitical priesthood. We don’t have Solomon’s Temple. We don’t even have the tabernacle because Moses hasn’t even seen the burning bush yet. At this point in the story, a bunch of people had kidnapped Abraham’s nephew Lot, and he has just successfully rescued him.
In light of all that, look at this weird thing that we read in Genesis:
After his return from the defeat of Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him, the king of Sodom went out to meet him at the Valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley). And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. (He was priest of God Most High.) And he blessed him and said,
“Blessed be Abram by God Most High,
Possessor of heaven and earth;
and blessed be God Most High,
who has delivered your enemies into your hand!”
And Abram gave him a tenth of everything.
Well, that’s strange. How can we have a “priest of the Most High God” if we don’t even have Levitical priests of the God of Israel yet? Also, how the heck did he know to bring out bread and wine? That’s a weird coincidence that seems to correspond to Jesus and the last supper.
Also… what’s this deal with calling God the “God Most High”? He Hebrew for “God” here is el. It is singular. Remember that, because it will be important later. The full phrase “God Most High” is ’êl ‘elyōwn.
Does that imply that there are other “gods” not quite as high? As I’d like to carefully explain here, the answer is “A very qualified ‘yes.'”
Why? Well, let’s look back at that Psalm 82:
I said, “You are gods,
sons of the Most High, all of you;
nevertheless, like men you shall die,
and fall like any prince.”
The Hebrew word for “gods” is ’ĕlōhîm (elohim). It is plural. That word “Most High” is ‘elyōwn. That’s literally the same Hebrew word that Melchizedek uses in Genesis 14. This can mean only one thing. There is a singular “Most High.” There are plural “sons of the Most High” who are all “sons of God.”
Therefore, let’s look back at the very careful qualification about there being multiple “gods.” Our English language doesn’t provide enough nuance about what these things are. They are beings in the spiritual realm. But just because you are a creature in the spiritual realm, that doesn’t mean you get all of the attributes of the being we Christians we call the capital-G God, things like omnipotence, omniscience, self-sufficiency, impeccability, etc. etc. All it means is that they are beings who occupy heavenly space.
In fact, if you want things to get even weirder, we can look at what Hebrews says about Melchizedek:
For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, and to him Abraham apportioned a tenth part of everything. He is first, by translation of his name, king of righteousness, and then he is also king of Salem, that is, king of peace. He is without father or mother or genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but resembling the Son of God he continues a priest forever.
See how great this man was to whom Abraham the patriarch gave a tenth of the spoils! And those descendants of Levi who receive the priestly office have a commandment in the law to take tithes from the people, that is, from their brothers, though these also are descended from Abraham. But this man who does not have his descent from them received tithes from Abraham and blessed him who had the promises. It is beyond dispute that the inferior is blessed by the superior. In the one case tithes are received by mortal men, but in the other case, by one of whom it is testified that he lives. One might even say that Levi himself, who receives tithes, paid tithes through Abraham, for he was still in the loins of his ancestor when Melchizedek met him.
Wait…. what? He is without father or mother? He is without genealogy? He has neither beginning of days nor end of life? What does it mean to “resemble the Son of God”? How can he continue to be a priest forever?
I’m going to skip over the “traditional understanding” (i.e., “absolute confusion”) about Melchizedek in this Hebrews passage and just answer the questions above.
- What does it mean to be “without father or mother.” It means he didn’t have a father or mother. He is not a son of Adam and Eve.
- What does it mean that he is without genealogy? It means he doesn’t have a father or mother or any descendants, either.
- What does it mean that he does not have beginning of days or end of life? It means he isn’t bound by time like we are in this world. He seems to be something approaching “eternal.”
- How can he continue to be a priest forever? Well, it seems that not only is he something approaching eternal, but he has some good job security, too.
- And what does it mean to “resemble the Son of God”? Well, good question. Let’s go into detail:
The Greek word behind “resemble” is ἀφωμοιωμένος (aphōmoiōmenos). It means “to be made like.” It is in the middle/passive voice, meaning that Melchizedek is the one receiving the action of “being made like” and it is the perfect tense, meaning it is something that happened and was completed (or “perfected”) in the past. In other words, at some point in the past, someone or something made Melchizedek like the Son of God.
In other words, and this is the very simple but ridiculously weird answer: Melchizedek was a “son of God.” He was not an ordinary human.
The other typical interpretation is that because he just appears in the text and seems to continue forever (because his death is never mentioned), he merely “appears like” or “resembles” the Son of God, Jesus, who is both a priest and a king. But there is a problem with this interpretation.
- Melchizedek doesn’t have a geneology. Jesus has two geneologies, one in Matthew 1 and another in Luke 3.
- Melchizedek doesn’t have a father or a mother. Jesus has both parents, or three depending on how you count.
- Melchizedek doesn’t have a beginning of days or an end of life. Jesus has both, one on Christmas the other on Good Friday.
Here’s the problem with this interpretation. Melchizedek doesn’t “resemble” Jesus in all of the ways that Hebrews claims he resembles Jesus. Yes, both Jesus and Melchizedek are king and priest, but that isn’t what is being listed here in Hebrews 7. We’re getting a bunch of things that do not apply to Jesus.
The solution to this conundrum is to look at the point that the book of Hebrews is trying to make, described at the beginning of the book:
Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. (Hebrews 1:1-2)
The point in Hebrews 7 about Melchizedek is not that he “resembles” in one key aspect: They are both “Sons of God.” But Jesus, as opposed to Melchizedek is the one who is “appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.” So yes, both Jesus and Melchizedek are “sons of God,” but Jesus is in a class of his own.
Jesus’s Argument About Being “The Son of God”
Everybody who is mildly acquainted with scripture knows that Jesus is the “Son of God.” We also know that because of John 3:16, which says:
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)
Now, I’ve obviously run into a problem, because I am claiming that there are MULTIPLE “son of God,” while here it says that Jesus is “his only son.” How is that possible? That’s a problem we will cover soon.
However, to show you how I’m going to introduce a solution to this conundrum by going to Jesus’s argument in John 10 when he claims that he is the Son of God. This is what Jesus says right after the Pharisees are going to pick up stones to stone Jesus for blasphemy:
Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I said, you are gods’? If he called them gods to whom the word of God came—and Scripture cannot be broken— do you say of him whom the Father consecrated and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’? (John 10:34-36)
This is definitely one of the weird parts of scripture. Here, Jesus claims that it isn’t blasphemy for him to call himself “the Son of God” because the scripture says that there are OTHER GODS.
Jesus even quotes Psalm 82 to prove his point: “There are OTHER sons of God in the Bible, so why are you getting mad at me for calling myself the Son of God?”
Um….. ….that’s weird.
What the Sons of God Look Like in the Bible
The thing I want you to realize is that just because someone is a “son of God,” all that really means is that their origin comes from God. Other than that, there isn’t much more we can say about them. There is a huge swath of beings in this “divine council” (a word Michael Heiser likes to use to describe these other spiritual and heavenly characters).
So let’s go on a brief survey of what these “sons of God” look like.
Son of God Example 1: Adam
This is pretty easy. They look like people. Adam is a “son of God.” Look what it says in Genesis:
This is the book of the generations of Adam (Hebrew “Adam”). When God created man (Hebrew “Adam”), he made him in the likeness of God (Hebrew: elohim). (Genesis 5:1)
And here’s what it says in the genealogy of Jesus:
Jesus, when he began his ministry, was about thirty years of age, being the son (as was supposed) of Joseph, the son of Heli, . . . the son of Enos, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God. (Luke 3:23, 38)
Son of God Example 2: Angels with No Wings
Since Adam was a “son of God,” we get some useful help from this other verse in Hebrews, which would seem to put angels in that same category:
“What is man, that you are mindful of him,
or the son of man, that you care for him?
You made him for a little while lower than the angels;
you have crowned him with glory and honor,
But notice where this quote comes from:
When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
what is man that you are mindful of him,
and the son of man that you care for him?
Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings
and crowned him with glory and honor.
That word “heavenly beings” in Hebrew is elohim. That’s the same word that is translated as “sons of God.” So, seeing that the angels are “sons of God,” we and are definitely characters in the heavenly realms, we might as well figure out what they look like.
Based on the evidence we have, they seem to look like ordinary people, except they are a bit more “shiny” than normal:
And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. (Matthew 28:2-3)
Something else to notice is that we never see “wings” associated with angels in the Bible. In fact, in Genesis 18-19, the angels look like ordinary people and are even called “men,” but it seems obvious in the story that they seem to have something like super powers.
Son of God Example 3: Seraphim with LOTS of wings
Sometimes the heavenly characters are described as “seraphim” that are definitely different than ordinary people, and therefore different than “angels”:
Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew.
Son of God Example 4: Cherubim With Wings and Ridiculously Ambiguous Body-Types
Not only that, we also have heavenly characters called “cherubim” who are winged, but usually have the body of a bull or a lion, but they’re really weird:
And from the midst of it came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was their appearance: they had a human likeness, but each had four faces, and each of them had four wings. Their legs were straight, and the soles of their feet were like the sole of a calf’s foot. And they sparkled like burnished bronze. Under their wings on their four sides they had human hands. And the four had their faces and their wings thus: their wings touched one another. Each one of them went straight forward, without turning as they went. As for the likeness of their faces, each had a human face. The four had the face of a lion on the right side, the four had the face of an ox on the left side, and the four had the face of an eagle. Such were their faces. And their wings were spread out above. Each creature had two wings, each of which touched the wing of another, while two covered their bodies. And each went straight forward. Wherever the spirit would go, they went, without turning as they went. As for the likeness of the living creatures, their appearance was like burning coals of fire, like the appearance of torches moving to and fro among the living creatures. And the fire was bright, and out of the fire went forth lightning. And the living creatures darted to and fro, like the appearance of a flash of lightning.
Sons of God Example 5: A Literal Dragon
Not only that, we also see that some of the characters in the heavenly realm are described explicitly as a “dragons”:
Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought back, but he was defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.
This might also shed light (or get even more “weird”) on a certain mystery I’ve noticed. That’s about the existence of dragons in mythology. They are everywhere, whether it is Tiamat in Babylonian and Assyrian culture or Python in Greek Mythology or Quetzalcoatl in the Americas or the Dragon in Beowulf, the Welsh dragon, or the Chinese dragon, or a host of other examples, we get some consistent traits across the entire globe about a creature that supposedly DOES NOT EXIST. On the other hand, how many myths do you know about kangaroos?
How does that happen? Maybe dragons are real, but just not physical. Anyway…. moving on.
Son of God Example 6: Lady Wisdom
In a much-overlooked creation story in the Bible, we see that the character “lady wisdom” is actually a “son (daughter?) of God”:
“The Lord possessed [Footnote: “or ‘fathered’ Septuigent: ‘created'”] me at the beginning of his work,
the first of his acts of old.
Ages ago I was set up,
at the first, before the beginning of the earth.
When there were no depths I was brought forth,
when there were no springs abounding with water.
Before the mountains had been shaped,
before the hills, I was brought forth,
before he had made the earth with its fields,
or the first of the dust of the world.
When he established the heavens, I was there;
when he drew a circle on the face of the deep,
when he made firm the skies above,
when he established the fountains of the deep,
when he assigned to the sea its limit,
so that the waters might not transgress his command,
when he marked out the foundations of the earth,
then I was beside him, like a master workman,
and I was daily his delight,
rejoicing before him always,
rejoicing in his inhabited world
and delighting in the children of man.
We can also note that “wisdom” is a character in other myths, too, such as the Babylonian Enuma Elish.
Son of God Example 7: The Spirits of Dead People
We also see that even the souls of dead human beings are described as “gods” or “elohim.” A good example is when King Saul visits the Medium of En-dor. Look how the soul of the dead Samuel is described:
So Saul disguised himself and put on other garments and went, he and two men with him. And they came to the woman by night. And he said, “Divine for me by a spirit and bring up for me whomever I shall name to you.” The woman said to him, “Surely you know what Saul has done, how he has cut off the mediums and the necromancers from the land. Why then are you laying a trap for my life to bring about my death?” But Saul swore to her by the Lord, “As the Lord lives, no punishment shall come upon you for this thing.” Then the woman said, “Whom shall I bring up for you?” He said, “Bring up Samuel for me.” When the woman saw Samuel, she cried out with a loud voice. And the woman said to Saul, “Why have you deceived me? You are Saul.” The king said to her, “Do not be afraid. What do you see?” And the woman said to Saul, “I see a god [elohim] coming up out of the earth.” He said to her, “What is his appearance?” And she said, “An old man is coming up, and he is wrapped in a robe.” And Saul knew that it was Samuel, and he bowed with his face to the ground and paid homage. (1 Samuel 28:8-14)
Son of God Example 8: All of the Other Pagan Deities
Look at what we see in the next passage. How do we make sense of the words of King David in scripture:
Therefore you are great, O Lord [Adonay] God [Yhvh]. For there is none like you, and there is no God [elohim] besides you, according to all that we have heard with our ears. And who is like your people Israel, the one nation on earth whom God [elohim] went to redeem to be his people, making himself a name and doing for them great and awesome things by driving out before your people, whom you redeemed for yourself from Egypt, a nation and its gods [elohim]?
(2 Samuel 7:22-23)
Isn’t it strange that in one sentence, David uses the proper name of God in the singular and then says “there is no God [elohim] besides you,” when “elohim” is plural. But in the next sentence, compares the God of Israel to Egypt and “its gods” [elohim]?
Additionally, look at what Deuteronomy 32 says:
When the Most High gave to the nations their inheritance,
when he divided mankind,
he fixed the borders of the peoples
according to the number of the sons of God.
But the Lord’s portion is his people,
Jacob his allotted heritage.
. . .
They stirred him to jealousy with strange gods;
with abominations they provoked him to anger.
They sacrificed to demons that were no gods,
to gods they had never known,
to new gods that had come recently,
whom your fathers had never dreaded.
You were unmindful of the Rock that bore you,
and you forgot the God who gave you birth.
(Deuteronomy 32:8-9, 16-18)
That Hebrew is too complicated and uses too many new words for me to break down fully, but you can follow along with the interlinear here. To make a long story short, English does not have enough words to clearly express all the VERY DIFFERENT WORDS that are used to describe THE “God that bore you.” and the “strange gods” and “abominations” and “demons” and other words. But there is definitely a deliberate difference between singular and plural in this passage that I don’t think we should ignore.
This should also make something clear about the prohibition on Israel serving idols and “gods.” One justification for this prohibition is that all of these other gods are “fake” and not worth their time. But with what we read in Psalm 82, it seems that explanation as a FULL explanation is impossible:
God [elohim] has taken [singular verb] his place in the divine council;
in the midst of the gods [elohim] he holds judgment [singular verb]:
Instead, it seems undeniable that in a passage like this, we have MULTIPLE elohim, and the one who sits in judgment above them all is also one of these elohim. The prohibition of worshiping other “elohim” is not that they are fake, it is that they are REAL SPIRITUAL BEINGS IN THE DIVINE SPACE, but are not worthy of worship.
Isn’t Jesus the Only Son of God?
This is obviously a big question, as we brought it up before. The answer is “No” and “Yes” depending on what you mean. When we go to the way the Bible speaks about it, we can see that we modern readers don’t talk about this subject the way the writers of scripture thought was intuitive.
The Difference Between a “Son” and a “Begotten Son.”
It is a little shocking to learn that Jesus is not the only “Son of God” mentioned in scripture. It seems that this directly contradicts what we read in John 3:16, maybe the most famous verse in the entire Bible. But I want to show you ten English versions of this same verse, with the oldest versions towards the end. See if you see something different:
- For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16 ESV)
- For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16 NIV)
- For God loved the world in this way: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16 CSB)
- For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life. (John 3:16 NASB)
- For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. (John 3:16 NRSV)
- For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16, NKJV)
- For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have eternal life. (John 3:16, ASV)
- For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16, KJV)
At some point in the translation process, the people who are translating from Greek to English decided that the phrase “his only son” or “his one and only son” means EXACTLY THE SAME THING as “his only begotten son” (Greek: τὸν μονογενῆ).
We don’t usually think in such technicalities as the difference between a “begotten” and “fathered.” It seems that this shift also changed the translation committees of the Bible these days. However, I’d like to tell you that this isn’t the case. There is a significant difference between “begotten” and “fathered,” and this difference is consistent in Scripture.
Notice what happens in the story where Abraham is told to sacrifice Isaac. Take note that the speaker is God himself:
And it came to pass after these things, that God did prove Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham; and he said, Here am I. And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son, whom thou lovest, even Isaac, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt-offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of. (Genesis 22:1-2)
Here is what is so significant: ISAAC IS NOT ABRAHAM’S ONLY SON. At this point in time, he also has Ishmael. Look at what we read in a previous chapter of Genesis:
And Abraham took Ishmael his son, and all that were born in his house, and all that were bought with his money, every male among the men of Abraham’s house, and circumcised the flesh of their foreskin in the selfsame day, as God had said unto him. (Genesis 17:23)
Now, if that seems bonkers, let’s make sense of it. Look at the different way that the Bible treats Isaac and Ishmael when it writes about these two individuals who were “fathered” by Abraham:
And Hagar bare Abram a son: and Abram called the name of his son, whom Hagar bare, Ishmael. And Abram was fourscore and six years old, when Hagar bare Ishmael to Abram. (Genesis 16:15-16, ASV)
And these are the generations of Isaac, Abraham’s son: Abraham begat Isaac (Genesis 25:19, ASV)
Interesting…. Very interesting. In fact, what we see is that the Bible NEVER says that Abraham “begat” Ishmael, even though he “bare” Ishmael, or “fathered” him. In fact, nowhere in the Bible does it say that Abraham “begat” anyone but Isaac:
The sons of Abraham: Isaac, and Ishmael. These are their generations: the first-born of Ishmael, Nebaioth; then Kedar, and Adbeel, and Mibsam, Mishma, and Dumah, Massa, Hadad, and Tema, Jetur, Naphish, and Kedemah. These are the sons of Ishmael. (1 Chronicles 1:28-31)
And Abraham begat Isaac. The sons of Isaac: Esau, and Israel. (1 Chronicles 1:34)
Did you catch the change? Abraham BEGAT Isaac, but the SONS of Isaac (not the begotten sons) are Esau (who did not receive the covenant) and Israel (who did). In fact, we even see this same “begetting” relationship between Ishmael and his sons, but never a “begetting” relationship between Abraham and Isaac. Note what God says of Ishmael:
And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee: behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation. But my covenant will I establish with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the next year. (Genesis 17:20-21, ASV)
So Abraham “fathered” both of them, but he “begot” only one of them, and God views the “begotten” one as the “only” one. Strange…
We get a clue of what is going on when we notice the difference between the two genealogies of Jesus. They are obviously different. Look at who the descendant of “King David” is in each genealogy:
And Jesse begat David the king. And David begat Solomon of her that had been the wife of Uriah
the son of Melea, the son of Menna, the son of Mattatha, the son of Nathan, the son of David, the son of Jesse, the son of Obed, the son of Boaz, the son of Salmon, the son of Nahshon (Luke 3:31-32)
Wait… Nathan and Solomon are two completely different people. How does this work? Who is the BIOLOGICAL descendant of David to Jesus? Is it Solomon, or is it Nathan? If “beget” and “fathered” means the same thing, then that is a really big question. It is a downright contradiction.
But if “beget” is different than “fathered,” we know the biological descendant of David to Jesus was through Nathan, while the line of inheriting authority was through Solomon.
All that to say this: BEGAT, BEGET, and BEGOTTEN are IMPORTANT WORDS THAT DO NOT MEAN WHAT YOU THINK THEY MEAN. They involve kingship and authority and power and the promise of God. They do not mean “fathered.”
That is why Jesus is “the only begotten son of God.” Notice what Colossians says of Jesus:
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.
Jesus isn’t the “firstborn of all creation” because he was “fathered first.” He is the firstborn of all creation BECAUSE HE INHERITS EVERYTHING. He is “the only begotten son of God.” And he is in a class of his own.
Read Michael Heiser’s book “The Unseen Realm” if you want more info on how Jesus fits into the picture.
The Sons of God in Non-Canonical Writings
At this point, we need to talk about an ancient book called the “Book of Enoch,” which was very popular among the early apostles. How popular? Well, let the book of Jude explain it to you:
It was also about these that Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his holy ones, to execute judgment on all and to convict all the ungodly of all their deeds of ungodliness that they have committed in such an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things that ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” (Jude 1:14-15)
That quote is from the Book of Enoch, which is not in your Bible (unless you are a part of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church). In fact, a copy of it was even found to be among the Dead Sea Scrolls. In other words, though you’ve never heard of it, the Book of Enoch is kind of a big deal.
The Sons of God in the Book of Enoch
And here is what the Book of Enoch says in the relevant parts, which you will find are quite similar to what we read in Genesis around the flood:
And it came to pass when the children of men had multiplied that in those days were born unto them beautiful and comely daughters. And the angels, the children of the heaven, saw and lusted after them, and said to one another: ‘Come, let us choose us wives from among the children of men and beget us children.’ And Semjaza, who was their leader, said unto them: ‘I fear ye will not indeed agree to do this deed, and I alone shall have to pay the penalty of a great sin.’ And they all answered him and said: ‘Let us all swear an oath, and all bind ourselves by mutual imprecations not to abandon this plan but to do this thing.’ Then sware they all together and bound themselves by mutual imprecations upon it. And they were in all two hundred; who descended in the days of Jared on the summit of Mount Hermon, and they called it Mount Hermon, because they had sworn and bound themselves by mutual imprecations upon it. And these are the names of their leaders: Samlazaz, their leader, Araklba, Rameel, Kokablel, Tamlel, Ramlel, Danel, Ezeqeel, Baraqijal, Asael, Armaros, Batarel, Ananel, Zaqiel, Samsapeel, Satarel, Turel, Jomjael, Sariel. These are their chiefs of tens.
And all the others together with them took unto themselves wives, and each chose for himself one, and they began to go in unto them and to defile themselves with them, and they taught them charms and enchantments, and the cutting of roots, and made them acquainted with plants. And they became pregnant, and they bare great giants, whose height was three thousand ells: Who consumed all the acquisitions of men. And when men could no longer sustain them, the giants turned against them and devoured mankind. And they began to sin against birds, and beasts, and reptiles, and fish, and to devour one another’s flesh, and drink the blood. Then the earth laid accusation against the lawless ones.
And Azazel taught men to make swords, and knives, and shields, and breastplates, and made known to them the metals of the earth and the art of working them, and bracelets, and ornaments, and the use of antimony, and the beautifying of the eyelids, and all kinds of costly stones, and all colouring tinctures. And there arose much godlessness, and they committed fornication, and they were led astray, and became corrupt in all their ways. Semjaza taught enchantments, and root-cuttings, ‘Armaros the resolving of enchantments, Baraqijal (taught) astrology, Kokabel the constellations, Ezeqeel the knowledge of the clouds, Araqiel the signs of the earth, Shamsiel the signs of the sun, and Sariel the course of the moon. And as men perished, they cried, and their cry went up to heaven . . .
. . .
Then said the Most High, the Holy and Great One spake, and sent Uriel to the son of Lamech, and said to him: ‘Go to Noah and tell him in my name “Hide thyself!” and reveal to him the end that is approaching: that the whole earth will be destroyed, and a deluge is about to come upon the whole earth, and will destroy all that is on it. (1 Enoch 6-10)
But then later, we see what happens at the end of the Flood in the book of Enoch:
And Uriel said to me: ‘Here shall stand the angels who have connected themselves with women, and their spirits assuming many different forms are defiling mankind and shall lead them astray into sacrificing to demons as gods, (here shall they stand,) till the day of the great judgement in which they shall be judged till they are made an end of. And the women also of the angels who went astray shall become sirens.’ And I, Enoch, alone saw the vision, the ends of all things: and no man shall see as I have seen.
And these are the names of the holy angels who watch. Uriel, one of the holy angels, who is over the world and over Tartarus. Raphael, one of the holy angels, who is over the spirits of men. Raguel, one of the holy angels who takes vengeance on the world of the luminaries. Michael, one of the holy angels, to wit, he that is set over the best part of mankind and over chaos. Saraqael, one of the holy angels, who is set over the spirits, who sin in the spirit. Gabriel, one of the holy angels, who is over Paradise and the serpents and the Cherubim. Remiel, one of the holy angels, whom God set over those who rise. (1 Enoch 19-20)
Imprisoned in Tartarus? Yes. Imprisoned in Tartarus.
How Should a Christian Treat the Book of Enoch?
So what are we supposed to do with this information that the Bible is quoting a not-in-the-Bible book? Well, there are a couple of ways to treat it. One way is to say that the Book of Enoch must therefore be “the Bible.” [Ethiopian Orthodox Church says “yay!”] However, I don’t think that’s the right course to go. There are other writings favorably mentioned in the Bible (Book of Jashar, Joshua 10:13, 1 Samuel 1:18) that are not “the Bible.”
Another way to treat it is that if it is not in “the Bible” then it is “not important.” However, I don’t think that’s a good thing to do either. The writings of Josephus are not in the Bible, but that is where we get a darn lot of information about the Pharisees, the Sadducees, the chronology of the Bible, and tons of other surrounding details about the gospels. St. Augustine isn’t in the Bible, but it would be crazy to call the writings of St. Augustin “not important.” Just because a book is not in the Bible, that doesn’t mean it isn’t important.
One thing I think we DO need to recognize is that the writers of the Bible thought that the book of Enoch was important. Jude even calls him a “prophet.” So even if it isn’t “scripture,” it is at least something that communicates something true. But look how the Book of Enoch treats the Book of Enoch:
The words of the blessing of Enoch, wherewith he blessed the elect and righteous, who will be living in the day of tribulation, when all the wicked and godless are to be removed. And he took up his parable and said -Enoch a righteous man, whose eyes were opened by God, saw the vision of the Holy One in the heavens, which the angels showed me, and from them I heard everything, and from them I understood as I saw, but not for this generation, but for a remote one which is for to come. Concerning the elect I said, and took up my parable concerning them: (1 Enoch 1:1-3)
How much is “truth” and how much is “parable”? That’s a very good question, and I’m not going to touch it. However, it is worth noting that a “prophet” is merely someone who speaks from God. We even have prophets in the Bible getting things wrong, only to be corrected on it later (See Nathan and David in 1 Samuel 7). We even have prophets who don’t get it wrong, but don’t have their own books of the Bible (See Micaiah the son of Imlah in 1 Kings 22)
All that to say, if you’re an Evangelical Christian who has never read the book of Enoch, don’t worry about it too much. Read it one day just to know what’s in it for your own benefit. Don’t feel that you’re missing an essential part of the faith.
The Titan Gods of Greek Myths
Now we take our hard left turn into Greek Myths. We need to review this stuff, because I PROMISE it will be relevant.
We need to talk about the Tian Gods. To review your sixth-grade education on Greek Myths, first there was Ouranos and Gaia, and the produced certain monsters and cyclopes, and then the Titans. The Titans produced the Olympians. The Olympians had a war with the Titans, and Zeus beat the Titans and cast them into Tartarus. And that gave us the divine order of the Greek world.
There is list of the Titan Gods in Hesiod’s Theogony. Hesiod was a Greek poet from the 8th century B.C. We also get a list of them in Hyginus’s Fabulae, which was written sometime around the birth of Christ. To put this in perspective, when Isaiah was living and writing in Judah, Hesiod was writing in Greece. When Jesus was born, Hyginus’s Fabulae was already published in an early form.
According to these writers, there are twelve Titan Gods who were the children of Heaven (Ouranous) and Earth (Gaia). But there were also many other mythical beings connected to these characters:
We need to review them because the details are important. Notice who does and doesn’t go to Tartartus.
Oceanus and Tethys
First we have Oceanus, who is associated with the great river that surrounds the world. (This sounds a bit like the “Water above the firmament,” if you ask me, but that’s another story.) According to Hesiod, he married his sister the Titaness Tethys and fathered lots of river gods and goddesses. For some reason Tethys has a dragon creature around her neck. I have no idea why, as dragons don’t exist, you know.
For some reason Tethys has a dragon-looking creature hanging out with her. I have no idea why that is the case, but there it is. There is no record of these two being in Tartarus.
Hyperion and Theia
Next, we have the Titan Hyperion. Hyperion was joined to sister the Titaness Theia and fathered Helios (Sun), Selene (Moon) and Eos (Dawn), some rather abstract creatures. Here is what we know of him:
Of Hyperion we are told that he was the first to understand, by diligent attention and observation, the movement of both the sun and the moon and the other stars, and the seasons as well, in that they are caused by these bodies, and to make these facts known to others; and that for this reason he was called the father of these bodies, since he had begotten, so to speak, the speculation about them and their nature.— Diodorus Siculus (5.67.1)
There is very little reference to Hyperion in the war of the Titans, and therefore, there is very little indication that he was thrown into Tartarus. The only reason it is believed he is there is that he is a Titan.
Coeus and Phoebe
Next, we have the Titan Coeus, who is the embodiment of the celestial axis around which the heavens revolve. I can’t find an image of him, but that’s supposedly what he was. According to Hesiod, he fathered fathered Leto and Asteria through Phoebe. I can’t find a classical image of Coeus, but here’s one of Phoebe:
As for Coeus, he was cast into Tartarus, according to Hesiod. There is no record of Phoebe in Tartarus.
Next is the Titan Crius. He fathered Astraios, Pallas, and Perses through someone named Eurybia. Her origins and status are rather ambiguous. Sometimes, she is considered a goddess, whose role is being the mother of other mythological beings, and sometimes she is considered the wife of the human Thespius, the legendary king of Thespiae in Boetia, Greece. She is also someone who supposedly bore a son to Hercules. Strange….
I don’t have an image of him. But Crius is in Tartarus.
Nes, we have the Titan Iapetus. He had several children by Clymene, a rather ambiguous character. Sometimes she is the daughter of Oceanus and Tethys. Sometimes she is the wife of the real King Merops of Ethiopia. So it’s rather unclear if she is a human being or a goddess.
Also…. Iapetus is in Tartarus.
Mnemosyne and Themis
Next, we have the Titanesses Mnemosyne and Themis. Mnemosyne and Themis are both female goddesses, and we are grouping them together here because they were both joined with Zeus and bore children.
Mnemosyne is viewed as the goddess of memory. Her children were the nine Muses, who are often invoked and praised at the beginning of mythological tales.
Themis, on the other hand, is the goddess of divine justice and order. She bore the children of the Moirai, or Fates, and the Horae, or the seasons. You will find the Titan goddess of divine justice and order memorialized outside of courts and such:
These Titanesses are NOT in Tartarus.
The Titaness Rhea is the mother of the twelve Olympian Gods: Hestia, Demeter, Poseidon, Hades, Hera, and Zeus. She was associated with Cronus, who was the father of these gods, but she was obviously on the other side of the argument about Cronus eating her children.
Rhea is not in Tartarus.
The most famous of the Titans is the Titan Cronus, who is the equivalent of Saturn in Roman mythology. Through his sister, the Titaness Rhea, he bore the famous Olympian Gods: Hestia, Demeter, Poseidon, Hades, Hera, and Zeus.
Cronus also did some quite strange things. This is why he is always pictured with a sickle. He “castrated Uranus.” After this, he ate his children to keep his children from overthrowing him. This is why you will always see Saturn either holding a sickle or eating his children.
Occasionally, you will see him depicted as someone who rules over a very blissful empire, because he ruled during the golden age of man. Here is how Hesiod describes the golden age of man:
First of all the deathless gods who dwell on Olympus made a golden race of mortal men who lived in the time of Cronos when he was reigning in heaven. And they lived like gods without sorrow of heart, remote and free from toil and grief: miserable age rested not on them; but with legs and arms never failing they made merry with feasting beyond the reach of all evils. When they died, it was as though they were overcome with sleep, and they had all good things; for the fruitful earth unforced bare them fruit abundantly and without stint. They dwelt in ease and peace upon their lands with many good things, rich in flocks and loved by the blessed gods. (Hesiod, Works and Days, the Ages of Man)
Sounds like the garden of Eden to me. But that’s another story. Anyway… moving on.
We also find that yes, Cronus is in Tartarus. However, some versions of the story claim that he got out somehow. Other versions make him king of Elysium, which is a realm of the dead. In other words, it’s complicated, but Cronus definitely had time in Tartarus.
Where Greek Myths and the Bible Collide
This is the part where I blow your mind. And here is where I prove my thesis: The “Titan Gods” are actual “Sons of God” that are mentioned in the Bible.
The Most Greek-Mythical Verse in the Entire Bible
In this series, we’ve shown how many Greek Myths actually sound a lot like bible stories. However, there is one Bible Story that sounds a lot like a Greek Myth. It comes from Peter in his letters.
For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment; if he did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a herald of righteousness, with seven others, when he brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly (2 Peter 2:4-5)
Now that might not sound too crazy for you. We know that angels sinned in the fall, because we see that “Satan and his angels” did war against Michael in Revelation 12. So yeah, God punishes those who rebel against him, even if they are angels. He preserves those who trust in him like Noah. So what’s so crazy about that?
Well, here’s the crazy part. Most of the time in the New Testament when Jesus uses the word “Hell,” it is the Greek word γέενναν which means “Gehenna.” (Matthew 5:22, 5:29, 5:30, 10:28, 18:9, 23:15, Mark 9:43, 9:45, 9:47; Luke 12:5). The word “hell” in James 3:6 is also the same word.
However, a couple of times, Jesus uses the Greek word ᾍδης which means “Hades.” That’s a much more “Greek” version of Hell. Jesus uses that word when talking to Peter when he says:
And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. (Matthew 16:18)
Jesus also uses it in Matthew 11:23, Luke 10:15, and in Luke 16:23 in the parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus. This is different than the usual “Gehenna,” and is a reference to the Greek “Hades,” which is a general word for the “realm of the dead.”
But here’s the crazy part about this verse in 2 Peter. The word for “hell” isn’t “Hades” and it isn’t “Gehenna.” It is the Greek verb ταρταρώσας which literally means “to be thrown into Tartarus.”
Tartarus, the Prison of the Titans on Earth
Yes. Tartarus. That is a very specific place in Greek Mythology. We can read about it in Apollodorus’s Library of Greek Myths:
But when Zeus was full-grown, he took Metis, daughter of Ocean, to help him, and she gave Cronus a drug to swallow, which forced him to disgorge first the stone and then the children whom he had swallowed, and with their aid Zeus waged the war against Cronus and the Titans. They fought for ten years, and Earth prophesied victory to Zeus if he should have as allies those who had been hurled down to Tartarus. So he slew their jailoress Campe, and loosed their bonds. And the Cyclopes then gave Zeus thunder and lightning and a thunderbolt, and on Pluto they bestowed a helmet and on Poseidon a trident. Armed with these weapons the gods overcame the Titans, shut them up in Tartarus, and appointed the Hundred-handers their guards; but they themselves cast lots for the sovereignty, and to Zeus was allotted the dominion of the sky, to Poseidon the dominion of the sea, and to Pluto the dominion in Hades. (Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca/The Library, 1.2.1)
Why is the prison of the Titan gods mentioned in scripture?
The Quotations of the Book of Enoch by Peter
The answer to this puzzle is that Peter is making reference to the Book of Enoch. We see in the Book of Enoch that Uriel is placed over Tartarus, making reference to the book of Enoch. Here is Peter:
For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment; (2 Peter 2:4)
Here is Enoch:
And again the Lord said to Raphael: ‘Bind Azazel hand and foot, and cast him into the darkness: and make an opening in the desert, which is in Dudael, and cast him therein. And place upon him rough and jagged rocks, and cover him with darkness, and let him abide there for ever, and cover his face that he may not see light. And on the day of the great judgement he shall be cast into the fire. (1 Enoch 10:4-7)
So Peter is quoting Enoch which also explicitly invokes “Tartarus,” the prison of the Titan Gods. WOW.
The Sons of God and the Titans Compared
Here’s the thing to notice about the Sons of God and the Titans. They share almost all the relevant qualities except their names. That’s where I come to this crazy thesis of this post.
The Titans are Sons of God. However, I don’t want to be misunderstood. I don’t mean that the “Sons of God” in the Bible are equivalent to Titans. Instead, I just note that the Titans are some subset of the Sons of God mentioned in the Bible.
Or as the priest told Solon in the Timaeus:
And whatever happened either in your country or in ours, or in any other region of which we are informed-if there were any actions noble or great or in any other way remarkable, they have all been written down by us of old, and are preserved in our temples. Whereas just when you and other nations are beginning to be provided with letters and the other requisites of civilized life, after the usual interval, the stream from heaven, like a pestilence, comes pouring down, and leaves only those of you who are destitute of letters and education; and so you have to begin all over again like children, and know nothing of what happened in ancient times, either among us or among yourselves. (Plato, Timaeus)
And as Critias told Socrates in his dialogue:
Yet, before proceeding further in the narrative, I ought to warn you, that you must not be surprised if you should perhaps hear Hellenic names given to foreigners. I will tell you the reason of this: Solon, who was intending to use the tale for his poem, enquired into the meaning of the names, and found that the early Egyptians in writing them down had translated them into their own language, and he recovered the meaning of the several names and when copying them out again translated them into our language. My great-grandfather, Dropides, had the original writing, which is still in my possession, and was carefully studied by me when I was a child. Therefore if you hear names such as are used in this country, you must not be surprised, for I have told how they came to be introduced. (Plato, Critias)
In other words, the NAMES in Greek Myths don’t matter. What matters is who these characters are and what they do.
The Moral Neutrality of Both Titans and Sons of God
As we see above in the marriages of Zeus to Titans and the fact that some Titans are thrown into Tartarus but others are not, there is a moral neutrality to the status of “Titan.” Additionally, as Psalm 82 on one hand and Jesus and Melchizedek prove on the other, there is a moral neutrality to being a “Son of God,” too.
In both cases, it is what the characters DO that makes them worthy of honor or ill repute.
The Absence of “Marriage” Among Titans and Sons of God
Here is where things get a little weird. Because anyone who is even mildly acquainted with Greek Mythology sees that there are some rather ridiculous family trees. They are all over the place, and often, when you find that a Titan or Greek god was “married” to someone, that is usually a modern reading of a god who usually copulated with a different god. There is no ceremony or lifelong promise of fidelity.
Even in the unions we see are closest to “marriage,” this does not normally look like any “marriage” that we are familiar with. They are joined to their sisters, aunts, nieces, and children. Things are weird. This isn’t what we would call “marriage.”
And then, we get this strange passage from the mouth of Jesus when the Sadducees quiz him on the law of marriage and the resurrection, we get this:
There came to him some Sadducees, those who deny that there is a resurrection, and they asked him a question, saying, “Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies, having a wife but no children, the man must take the widow and raise up offspring for his brother. Now there were seven brothers. The first took a wife, and died without children. And the second and the third took her, and likewise all seven left no children and died. Afterward the woman also died. In the resurrection, therefore, whose wife will the woman be? For the seven had her as wife.”
And Jesus said to them, “The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage, but those who are considered worthy to attain to that age and to the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage, for they cannot die anymore, because they are equal to angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection. But that the dead are raised, even Moses showed, in the passage about the bush, where he calls the Lord the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. Now he is not God of the dead, but of the living, for all live to him.” Then some of the scribes answered, “Teacher, you have spoken well.” For they no longer dared to ask him any question.
In other words, Jesus’s answer is to say that the question of the Sadducees doesn’t make any sense. But to put the question into Greek-myth terms, we could say “Really? Seven wives, and you think that’s a problem? Have you even heard of Zeus?”
So we see a strange thing about the status of “marriage” for the sons of God. They don’t do it. That’s a pattern that also holds with Titan gods.
The Reproductive Capacity of Sons of God and Titans
We know that Titans can have children, because the Titans produce the Olympians. Most of Greek mythology is the family drama of the Titan and Olympian Gods.
But what we should also note is that the Sons of God can also have children. It happens in Genesis 6. It also happens because Adam is called a Son of God. It appears to happen in Revelation 12 (though I’m not going to pretend I know what that one means).
The Sons of God and the Titans Both “Rule.”
As we know from Greek mythology, Cronus or Saturn was the leader of the Titans.
But we also notice something strange in Psalm 82 about the Sons of God: they are given the title of “gods” (elohim) by the Most High God, but they obviously don’t do a very good job, so he says they shall die like men. We also see that in Daniel 10, there is a hierarchy of authority among these sons of God:
Then he said to me, “Fear not, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand and humbled yourself before your God, your words have been heard, and I have come because of your words. The prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days, but Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I was left there with the kings of Persia, and came to make you understand what is to happen to your people in the latter days. For the vision is for days yet to come.” (Daniel 10:12-14)
So both Sons of God and Titans have spheres of authority and “rule.”
Titan +Human = Giant
Some of the Titans have children by characters who seem quite human. One of those — for example — was Crius, who bore several children by Eurybia, who appears to be a goddess in some tellings, but a human in other tellings. The children of Crius and Euryba are the following people: Astraios, Pallas, and Perses.
Now here’s the funny thing about that child “Pallas.” And you need to brace for this, because it is absolutely shocking. Hyginus, the keeper of the Palatine Library in Rome by Caesar Augustus, wrote some a mythological work called “Fabulae” or “Fables.” He also mentions the children of the Titan Crius and Euryba.
And guess what he calls Pallas? He calls him A GIANT.
In fact, Hyginus actually gives an entire list of giants. These include: Enceladus, Coeus, Elentes, Mophius, Astraeus, Pelorus, Pallas, Emphytus, Rhoecus, Ienios, Agrius, Alemone, Ephailtes, Eurytus, Effracorydon, Themoises, Theodamas, Otus, Typhon, Polyboetes, Menephriarus, Abesus, Colophonus, and Iapetus.
Son of God + Human = Nephilim
The reason this is so shocking is that we need to go back to that verse in Genesis that happened right before the Flood:
When man began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of man were attractive. And they took as their wives any they chose. Then the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not abide in man forever, for he is flesh: his days shall be 120 years.” The Nephilim [footnote: Giants] were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of man and they bore children to them. These were the mighty men who were of old, the men of renown. (Genesis 6:1-4)
So, just as Titan + Human = Giant, we also see that Son of God + Human = Nephilim (which means “Giant”)
Both the Titans and the Sons of God Had Sexual Relations With Human Women Were Thrown into Tartarus, But Not the Others
As we’ve already discussed above, Peter — who was referencing the Book of Enoch — says in scripture in two places that the “sons of God” where were disobedient were cast into Tartarus.
But we can also note the strange pattern of the Titan Gods who were — or were not — cast into Tartarus. The Titan Gods who did bad things and had sexual relations with seemingly-human women — Cronus, Crius, Coeus, and Iapetus — are the ONLY TITANS who are cast into Tartarus. Oceanus, Tethys, Rhea, Hyperion, Theia, Mnemosyne, Themis, and Phoebe were NOT thrown into Tartarus.
Isn’t that downright WEIRD? Isn’t that too much of a coincidence to ignore? I think so.
So there you go. That’s 10,000 words showing that the Titans of Greek Mythology are a subset of the Sons of God that are mentioned in the Bible.
This isn’t to say that the Sons of God are “myths.” Rather, it is just saying that “myths” are not MERELY “untrue stories.” Instead, myths are untrue stories that are deliberately written to preserve something in memory that is ACTUALLY REAL. As a Christian, I would posit that the “Sons of God” in the Bible are actually real, regardless of whether they resemble Greek myths.
We should also remember a rule that we covered in the Flood of Noah. When you have radically different cultures (Greek and Hebrew) that are unconnected to each other (Asia and Europe) and that even have divergent interests (monotheism vs polytheism), and yet they tell pretty much the SAME STORY, that is not evidence that the story is false. Instead, that is pretty good evidence that the story is TRUE.
Next up, as I promised….. ….Nephilim and Giants.
9 Comments Add yours
Oh man. I was hoping to find some kind of simple comparison between the greek titans and sons of Jacob. Your blog looked huge and I hoped to find answers. Instead it looks like you have tried to engage in some sort of intellectual attack against greek mythology and christianity, comics and graphic novels. I am glad to see you don’t much care for christianity, a replacement theology, an idolatry intended to draw people away from the one true God. I am sad to see all these words don’t provide an answer to my simple question about what the greeks did while they oppressed the jews during the greek exile, attempting to replace, with greek mythology, what the jews believed about the titans of Israel, the twelve sons of Jacob. I am also sorry to see you never got a chance to explore the love, awe and wonder with which the jews have, longer than any people that have existed on the planet, carried the yoke of God’s word, and not a greek or english translation of it, and certainly not a replacement of it, in which the law is done away with.
So are Cronus, Crius, Coeus, and Iapetus the four angels from Revelations 9:14?
No, I’m not ready to make that connection at all. Instead, those are just the Titan gods I know the Greeks claim are in imprisoned in Tartarus.