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Author Topic: Enoch, Church Fathers and the Giants of Genesis  (Read 3028 times)

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Offline Tradman

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Re: Enoch, Church Fathers and the Giants of Genesis
« Reply #60 on: August 19, 2022, 12:32:51 PM »
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  • The error above by seculars and atheists only makes sense to them because they don't believe in first principles and think higher things (reason) come from lower things. When in reality, despite their paganism, the ancients were far more insightful than modern men. It was apparent to ancients that lightning was it's own thing that was governed by something else. And this logic is a seed of the ancient wisdom of Adam and the truth about the one God.
    This is my understanding because this stuff always crops up in those philosophies opposed to the Church.  It's possible Fathers said things about it that I missed, but I can't think of anything that supports it. 

    Offline DigitalLogos

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    Re: Enoch, Church Fathers and the Giants of Genesis
    « Reply #61 on: August 19, 2022, 01:42:03 PM »
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  • This is my understanding because this stuff always crops up in those philosophies opposed to the Church.  It's possible Fathers said things about it that I missed, but I can't think of anything that supports it.
    I've been reading some of the Divine Institutes by Lactantius here and there, and he touches on this same theme in his refutation of paganism and pagan ideas. It might be worth reading.
    "Be not therefore solicitous for tomorrow; for the morrow will be solicitous for itself. Sufficient for the day is the evil thereof." [Matt. 6:34]

    "In all thy works remember thy last end, and thou shalt never sin." [Ecclus. 7:40]

    "A holy man continueth in wisdom as the sun: but a fool is changed as the moon." [Ecclus. 27:12]


    Offline Cera

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    Re: Enoch, Church Fathers and the Giants of Genesis
    « Reply #62 on: August 19, 2022, 02:38:21 PM »
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  •   So, it appears that the "sons of god" does mean actual angels.
    "Now on a certain day when the sons of God came to stand before the Lord, Satan also was present among them."
     [Job 1:6]
    "And it came to pass, when on a certain day the sons of God came, and stood before the Lord, and Satan came among them, and stood in his sight,"
     [Job 2:1]

    Might they be fallen angles?
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    Offline Tradman

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    Re: Enoch, Church Fathers and the Giants of Genesis
    « Reply #63 on: August 19, 2022, 02:42:28 PM »
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  • "Now on a certain day when the sons of God came to stand before the Lord, Satan also was present among them."
     [Job 1:6]
    "And it came to pass, when on a certain day the sons of God came, and stood before the Lord, and Satan came among them, and stood in his sight,"
     [Job 2:1]

    Might they be fallen angles?
    Can you finish the passage for us here? Did the 'sons of God' come to stand before the Lord as men after death?  We just need to verify context of what's being said.

    Offline Pax Vobis

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    Re: Enoch, Church Fathers and the Giants of Genesis
    « Reply #64 on: August 19, 2022, 03:30:56 PM »
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  • Quote
    And this also would explain how they (lower angels) could fall in "time" as opposed to the angels who, being PURE spirit, had to decide to be either for or against God at the first instant of their creation. 
    Right, it makes sense that lower angels do not have the intellect and purity of knowledge that the higher angels do.  This is why lucifer and his followers made their decision, once, and were damned forever.  They could rationalize their decision in an instant and either choose God or themselves - forever.  It also explains why St Paul tells us that our fight is not against "flesh and blood" but against the "principalities and powers" (both angelic choirs, mid-tier) who rule the world.  The angels and archangels would be the ones that "fell" in time.  A simple angel, of the lowest tier, is WAY more powerful and intelligent than any man ever born.  Just like any man is way more intelligent than any animal.


    Offline DigitalLogos

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    Re: Enoch, Church Fathers and the Giants of Genesis
    « Reply #65 on: August 19, 2022, 03:47:22 PM »
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  • They could rationalize their decision in an instant and either choose God or themselves - forever.  
    But, given what St. Thomas teaches about the angelic reason, ALL angels can do that, not just the higher choirs, by the fact that they are intellectual beings. The higher choirs have a much greater capacity for knowledge, but the instantaneous intellection of a principle from their natural reason does not differ:

    Quote
    So, likewise, the lower, namely, the human, intellects obtain their perfection in the knowledge of truth by a kind of movement and discursive intellectual operation; that is to say, as they advance from one known thing to another. But, if from the knowledge of a known principle they were straightway to perceive as known all its consequent conclusions, then there would be no discursive process at all. Such is the condition of the angels, because in the truths which they know naturally, they at once behold all things whatsoever that can be known in them.
    https://aquinas.cc/la/en/~ST.I.Q58.A3.C


    As for the difference in knowledge between higher and lower angels, it is merely a quantitative difference, rather than a question of mode:

    Quote
    Thus the higher the angel is, by so much the fewer species will he be able to apprehend the whole mass of intelligible objects. Therefore his forms must be more universal; each one of them, as it were, extending to more things. An example of this can in some measure be observed in ourselves. For some people there are who cannot grasp an intelligible truth, unless it be explained to them in every part and detail; this comes of their weakness of intellect: while there are others of stronger intellect, who can grasp many things from few.
    https://aquinas.cc/la/en/~ST.I.Q55.A3.C

    "Be not therefore solicitous for tomorrow; for the morrow will be solicitous for itself. Sufficient for the day is the evil thereof." [Matt. 6:34]

    "In all thy works remember thy last end, and thou shalt never sin." [Ecclus. 7:40]

    "A holy man continueth in wisdom as the sun: but a fool is changed as the moon." [Ecclus. 27:12]

    Offline DigitalLogos

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    Re: Enoch, Church Fathers and the Giants of Genesis
    « Reply #66 on: August 19, 2022, 03:52:16 PM »
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  • I'm surprised no one posted this yet, but here's Aquinas on the entire question of Genesis 6:4:


    Quote
    Obj. 6: Further, to beget offspring is a vital act. But this has befallen the angels in their assumed bodies; for it is related: After the sons of God went in to the daughters of men, and they brought forth children, these are the mighty men of old, men of renown (Gen 6:4). Consequently the angels exercised vital functions in their assumed bodies.

    On the contrary, The bodies assumed by angels have no life, as was stated in the previous article (ad 3). Therefore they cannot exercise functions of life through assumed bodies.

    I answer that, Some functions of living subjects have something in common with other operations; just as speech, which is the function of a living creature, agrees with other sounds of inanimate things, in so far as it is sound; and walking agrees with other movements, in so far as it is movement. Consequently vital functions can be performed in assumed bodies by the angels, as to that which is common in such operations; but not as to that which is special to living subjects; because, according to the Philosopher (De Somn. et Vig. i), that which has the faculty has the action. Hence nothing can have a function of life except what has life, which is the potential principle of such action.

    Reply Obj. 6: As Augustine says (De Civ. Dei xv): Many persons affirm that they have had the experience, or have heard from such as have experienced it, that the Satyrs and Fauns, whom the common folk call incubi, have often presented themselves before women, and have sought and procured intercourse with them. Hence it is folly to deny it. But God’s holy angels could not fall in such fashion before the deluge. Hence by the sons of God are to be understood the sons of Seth, who were good; while by the daughters of men the Scripture designates those who sprang from the race of Cain. Nor is it to be wondered at that giants should be born of them; for they were not all giants, albeit there were many more before than after the deluge.

    Still if some are occasionally begotten from demons, it is not from the seed of such demons, nor from their assumed bodies, but from the seed of men taken for the purpose; as when the demon assumes first the form of a woman, and afterwards of a man; just as they take the seed of other things for other generating purposes, as Augustine says (De Trin. iii), so that the person born is not the child of a demon, but of a man.

    https://aquinas.cc/la/en/~ST.I.Q51.A3.Obj6


    He sides with St. Augustine here that these were demons which took possession of men for this purpose, not an act of generation by the demons themselves. So, I'm still going to have to say, along with Ss. Augustine and Thomas, that "sons of God" in this sense does mean the progeny of Seth.

    And therefore, given that angelic minds can interfere with matter since they occupy a state above it, it's likely that the malice of the sin committed by these sons of God and the operation of the demons manipulating their seed led to the genetic aberrations of the Giants.
    "Be not therefore solicitous for tomorrow; for the morrow will be solicitous for itself. Sufficient for the day is the evil thereof." [Matt. 6:34]

    "In all thy works remember thy last end, and thou shalt never sin." [Ecclus. 7:40]

    "A holy man continueth in wisdom as the sun: but a fool is changed as the moon." [Ecclus. 27:12]

    Offline Pax Vobis

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    Re: Enoch, Church Fathers and the Giants of Genesis
    « Reply #67 on: August 19, 2022, 03:53:20 PM »
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    Secondly, while such interspecies beings (mangels?) could exist, do the Fathers or other saints talk about, or maybe describe them?
    Mangles...:laugh1:  Like it.


    I've not looked into any post-St Augustine saints' commentaries on the Nephilim.  Mostly because, as is normal, they would've adopted +Augustine's opinion and added no new info.  That's why Anne Catherine Emmerich's comments are so unusual - she both agrees (mentions possession) and disagrees with St Augustine (mentions fallen angels and Enoch).

    My opinion is
    a)  there were angels who fell during Noah's time (too much evidence for it, both from Enoch, Church Fathers and pagan civilizations).  
    b)  possibly the "genetic material" for such Giants was 100% human, but enhanced/altered due to fallen angel possession/knowledge.  This would agree with St Augustine, Scripture, Enoch, Anne Catherine Emmerich, Ancient Aliens and the great X-files tv show, etc.  This theory agrees with all sources because Scripture does not say "how" such Giants were fathered, only that fallen angels were part of it.
    c)  Such a theory also coincides with the future anti-christ, who will be 100% human.

    And the reason this is all important?  Because Christ said "As in the days of Noah, so shall the coming of the Son of Man be".  Obviously, Christ was first talking about sin and lack of faith/religion but I also believe that we will see "signs and wonders" in the last days and also a return of giants/fallen angels/"alien" demons/etc.  Imagine what kind of technology "bump" our society could have, if fallen angels were directing the elites today?  Lots of people in govt say that "Area 51" is all about super-technology and that it's 50-60 years ahead of what we see now.  I think the "alien visitors" story will happen because it's the only way for the elites to introduce society to fallen angels, and a "new world" of futuristic technology.  In the next 10-20 years, I expect this to happen, if God doesn't intervene.


    Offline DigitalLogos

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    Re: Enoch, Church Fathers and the Giants of Genesis
    « Reply #68 on: August 19, 2022, 03:54:31 PM »
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  • Mangles...:laugh1:  Like it.


    I've not looked into any post-St Augustine saints' commentaries on the Nephilim.  Mostly because, as is normal, they would've adopted +Augustine's opinion and added no new info.  That's why Anne Catherine Emmerich's comments are so unusual - she both agrees (mentions possession) and disagrees with St Augustine (mentions fallen angels and Enoch).

    My opinion is
    a)  there were angels who fell during Noah's time (too much evidence for it, both from Enoch, Church Fathers and pagan civilizations). 
    b)  possibly the "genetic material" for such Giants was 100% human, but enhanced/altered due to fallen angel possession/knowledge.  This would agree with St Augustine, Scripture, Enoch, Anne Catherine Emmerich, Ancient Aliens and the great X-files tv show, etc.  This theory agrees with all sources because Scripture does not say "how" such Giants were fathered, only that fallen angels were part of it.
    c)  Such a theory also coincides with the future anti-christ, who will be 100% human.

    And the reason this is all important?  Because Christ said "As in the days of Noah, so shall the coming of the Son of Man be".  Obviously, Christ was first talking about sin and lack of faith/religion but I also believe that we will see "signs and wonders" in the last days and also a return of giants/fallen angels/"alien" demons/etc.  Imagine what kind of technology "bump" our society could have, if fallen angels were directing the elites today?  Lots of people in govt say that "Area 51" is all about super-technology and that it's 50-60 years ahead of what we see now.  I think the "alien visitors" story will happen because it's the only way for the elites to introduce society to fallen angels, and a "new world" of futuristic technology.  In the next 10-20 years, I expect this to happen, if God doesn't intervene.
    Yep. I completely agree with that assessment.

    I'm still on the fence on whether "sons of God" refers to the demons exclusively, or also the sons of Seth though. As both were involved in the generation of these giants.
    "Be not therefore solicitous for tomorrow; for the morrow will be solicitous for itself. Sufficient for the day is the evil thereof." [Matt. 6:34]

    "In all thy works remember thy last end, and thou shalt never sin." [Ecclus. 7:40]

    "A holy man continueth in wisdom as the sun: but a fool is changed as the moon." [Ecclus. 27:12]

    Offline Pax Vobis

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    Re: Enoch, Church Fathers and the Giants of Genesis
    « Reply #69 on: August 19, 2022, 04:04:04 PM »
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    He sides with St. Augustine here that these were demons which took possession of men for this purpose, not an act of generation by the demons themselves. So, I'm still going to have to say, along with Ss. Augustine and Thomas, that "sons of God" in this sense does mean the progeny of Seth.
    In the past, I only heard that St Augustine discarded the angelic influence and said that the "sons of god" = sons of Seth.  This never made sense because it didn't explain why the Giants were so large and powerful.  Scripture obviously went out of their way to say that the Giants were "mighty men".  But why and how?  The explanation of "holy men turned real bad" doesn't explain the Giants.


    In reading St Augustine's expanded view (along with Anne Catherine's notes) it seems there's a middle ground.  No, the fallen angels were not MATERIAL fathers.  But also, no, the "sons of god/Seth" were also not "normal" fathers.  The middle ground is the sons of seth were possessed fully, along with their wives, and the fallen angels were able to use every conceivable earthly/herbal/technological advancement to create the Giants.

    Ok, I can buy this.  It reconciles all sources.

    Online Ladislaus

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    Re: Enoch, Church Fathers and the Giants of Genesis
    « Reply #70 on: August 19, 2022, 04:37:21 PM »
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  • I don't see how Anne Catherine Emmerich is contradicting Enoch's story, whom she praises as a holy man.  It's unclear what she means when she says "when the angels fell".  Is she talking about satan's revolt against God vs St Michael?  I don't see how because she says they won't be cast into hell before the last day.  But satan and his angels are already in hell.  So she must be talking about fallen angels in the same way that Enoch was, which means, angels fell a 2nd time.  She uses the term (assuming the translation is accurate) of "fallen spirits".  But satan and co are not fallen spirits but demons who are in hell.  So, it appears that the "sons of god" does mean actual angels.

    I think we have to be a bit careful with Anne Catherine Emmerich.  Most of what she saw / said was interpreted through the lens of Brentano and could have been embellished.  I think it's a reason the Church hasn't canonized her despite her virtue, wary that it might be an implicit endorsement of the works attributed to her.  While most of it might be accurate, there could also have been interpretations and various embellishments made by Brentano.

    This part, for instance, seems very wrong to me, if we're speaking about the typical angels who are pure spirit:
    Quote
    I have frequently seen that, when the angels fell, a certain number had a moment of repentance and did not in consequence fall as low as the others.

    I could see that perhaps the degree to which they rejected God may have been less, but that they could somehow repent or change their minds isn't consistent with what could happen to those first angels, who had to decide one way or the other at the instant of their creation, and they were  not capable of any kind of repentance once they had made their decision.


    Online Ladislaus

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    Re: Enoch, Church Fathers and the Giants of Genesis
    « Reply #71 on: August 19, 2022, 04:49:01 PM »
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  • I am aware of that, but what I am saying is that it is contrary to what the Church teaches on angelic natures. So, to say that these were, in fact, traditional angels in the sense of heavenly intelligences, doesn't add up.

    But what does "the Church teach.." about angelic natures.  I don't recall much in the Magisterium about it, as it seems to be largely the province of theologians.

    Online Ladislaus

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    Re: Enoch, Church Fathers and the Giants of Genesis
    « Reply #72 on: August 19, 2022, 04:59:03 PM »
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  • St. Thomas says that it is not in the nature of pure spirits to do things like procreate.  But my hypothesis is that there were lower choirs of angels that were not pure spirit, but had a lower/sensible nature that could then interact with matter.

    One of the key pieces of Sacred Scripture is that these "sons of God ... seeing that [the daughters of men] were fair" ...

    This strongly implies that there was some kind of physical attraction they had toward these women ... which would not be consistent with a pure spirit either.  Pure spirits, even if fallen, do not have such sensibilities, which come from the lower nature.

    If they had possessed men to mate with women simply to corrupt men, I'm not sure who "seeing that they were fair" factored into it.

    Also, the other curious pieces is that there was something unusual about their offspring, so there seems to have been something different or unique about their genetics ... unless with their angelic knowledge they somehow could know which combinations genes would bring out the various traits such as what they had intended.  So, for instance, they figured out that if this guy (whom they then possessed) would mate with this woman here, the result would be gigantic offspring with remarkable traits.  But then that would still leave me wondering what their fairness had to do with it.

    Online Ladislaus

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    Re: Enoch, Church Fathers and the Giants of Genesis
    « Reply #73 on: August 19, 2022, 05:05:33 PM »
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  • Much of the argumentation seems to come (at least later, by the time of the scholastics) from this notion that angels are pure spirit.  Where is that taught or to be found in Sacred Scripture?  Whence does that notion originate?  I haven't seen any authority for that supposition, whether from Scripture or from Tradition.  And yet it seems to be simply assumed, and then they draw conclusions from that presupposition.  But what if it's not the whole story.  Certainly it's clear that there are some higher choirs of angels that are indeed pure spirit.  But why the different choirs and the hierarchy.  To what extent are the lower choirs "inferior" to the higher ones?  What is there that rules out the existence of a lowest choir where those creatures of God had spirit plus a sensible nature along with the ability to take on bodies (although not of earth like man but of a more aetherial substance).

    In any case, we tend to lump all these creatures into the category of "angel", but there were differences and degrees of sublimity in the hierarchy from God down?  It could be circular reasoning, where you define "angel" as a being of pure spirit, and then any that are called angels are supposed to be in this same category.  In point of fact, I believe St. Thomas and others held that you can't really classify angels that way, in that every angel is his own special category and has a unique nature.

    It would be interesting to dig up anything that the Fathers had to say about angels in general.

    In any case, the very etymology of angel simply means "messenger" and by itself the term does  not define them to be pure spirits, just as these transitional creatures between God, the invisible creation, and visible creation.

    Offline DigitalLogos

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    Re: Enoch, Church Fathers and the Giants of Genesis
    « Reply #74 on: August 19, 2022, 05:28:07 PM »
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  • Careful Lad, make sure you reach out to St. Thomas before you criticize his work :trollface:

    Much of the argumentation seems to come (at least later, by the time of the scholastics) from this notion that angels are pure spirit.  Where is that taught or to be found in Sacred Scripture?  Whence does that notion originate?  I haven't seen any authority for that supposition, whether from Scripture or from Tradition.  And yet it seems to be simply assumed, and then they draw conclusions from that presupposition.  But what if it's not the whole story.  Certainly it's clear that there are some higher choirs of angels that are indeed pure spirit.  But why the different choirs and the hierarchy.  To what extent are the lower choirs "inferior" to the higher ones?  What is there that rules out the existence of a lowest choir where those creatures of God had spirit plus a sensible nature along with the ability to take on bodies (although not of earth like man but of a more aetherial substance).

    In any case, we tend to lump all these creatures into the category of "angel", but there were differences and degrees of sublimity in the hierarchy from God down?  It could be circular reasoning, where you define "angel" as a being of pure spirit, and then any that are called angels are supposed to be in this same category.  In point of fact, I believe St. Thomas and others held that you can't really classify angels that way, in that every angel is his own special category and has a unique nature.

    It would be interesting to dig up anything that the Fathers had to say about angels in general.

    In any case, the very etymology of angel simply means "messenger" and by itself the term does  not define them to be pure spirits, just as these transitional creatures between God, the invisible creation, and visible creation.

    Well, let's look at where St. Thomas gets the notion of angels being pure spirit:
    Quote
    On the contrary, It is said (Ps 103:4): Who makes His angels spirits.

    I answer that, There must be some incorporeal creatures. For what is principally intended by God in creatures is good, and this consists in assimilation to God Himself. And the perfect assimilation of an effect to a cause is accomplished when the effect imitates the cause according to that whereby the cause produces the effect; as heat makes heat. Now, God produces the creature by His intellect and will (Q. 14, A. 8; Q. 19, A. 4). Hence the perfection of the universe requires that there should be intellectual creatures. Now intelligence cannot be the action of a body, nor of any corporeal faculty; for every body is limited to here and now. Hence the perfection of the universe requires the existence of an incorporeal creature.

    The ancients, however, not properly realizing the force of intelligence, and failing to make a proper distinction between sense and intellect, thought that nothing existed in the world but what could be apprehended by sense and imagination. And because bodies alone fall under imagination, they supposed that no being existed except bodies, as the Philosopher observes (Phys. iv, 52,57). Thence came the error of the Sadducees, who said there was no spirit (Acts 23:8).

    But the very fact that intellect is above sense is a reasonable proof that there are some incorporeal things comprehensible by the intellect alone.
    https://aquinas.cc/la/en/~ST.I.Q50.A1.SC

    I know the form of hierarchies that St. Thomas and others accepted comes from St. Dionysius the Areopagite's work "The Heavenly Hierarchy" (note: I think the pseudo-Dionysius authorship claims are BS and I stand with Rev. Parker and Tradition that they were from St. Dionysius). And that Pope St. Gregory and St. Bernard had their own variations on them. I would have to do a little digging to get to the root as to why they accepted them, outside of appeals to their Traditional authorship with St. Dionysius.

    Here's St. Thomas's reasoning on the Hierarchies. I'll just link to the section, rather than quote it: https://aquinas.cc/la/en/~ST.I.Q108

    Here's the relevant section on why these angels are categorized as such, despite the unique nature of each individually:
    Quote
    On the contrary is the authority of Holy Scripture wherein they are so named. For the name Seraphim is found in Isa. 6:2; the name Cherubim in Ezech. 1 (Cf. 10:15,20); Thrones in Col. 1:16; Dominations, Virtues, Powers, and Principalities are mentioned in Eph. 1:21; the name Archangels in the canonical epistle of St. Jude (9), and the name Angels is found in many places of Scripture.

    I answer that, As Dionysius says (Coel. Hier. vii), in the names of the angelic orders it is necessary to observe that the proper name of each order expresses its property. Now to see what is the property of each order, we must consider that in coordinated things, something may be found in a threefold manner: by way of property, by way of excess, and by way of participation. A thing is said to be in another by way of property, if it is adequate and proportionate to its nature: by excess when an attribute is less than that to which it is attributed, but is possessed thereby in an eminent manner, as we have stated (Q. 13, A. 2) concerning all the names which are attributed to God: by participation, when an attribute is possessed by something not fully but partially; thus holy men are called gods by participation. Therefore, if anything is to be called by a name designating its property, it ought not to be named from what it participates imperfectly, nor from that which it possesses in excess, but from that which is adequate thereto; as, for instance, when we wish properly to name a man, we should call him a rational substance, but not an intellectual substance, which latter is the proper name of an angel; because simple intelligence belongs to an angel as a property, and to man by participation; nor do we call him a sensible substance, which is the proper name of a brute; because sense is less than the property of a man, and belongs to man in a more excellent way than to other animals.

    So we must consider that in the angelic orders all spiritual perfections are common to all the angels, and that they are all more excellently in the superior than in the inferior angels. Further, as in these perfections there are grades, the superior perfection belongs to the superior order as its property, whereas it belongs to the inferior by participation; and conversely the inferior perfection belongs to the inferior order as its property, and to the superior by way of excess; and thus the superior order is denominated from the superior perfection.

    So in this way Dionysius (Coel. Hier. vii) explains the names of the orders accordingly as they befit the spiritual perfections they signify. Gregory, on the other hand, in expounding these names (Hom. xxxiv in Evang.) seems to regard more the exterior ministrations; for he says that angels are so called as announcing the least things; and the archangels in the greatest; by the virtues miracles are wrought; by the powers hostile powers are repulsed; and the principalities preside over the good spirits themselves.

    https://aquinas.cc/la/en/~ST.I.Q108.A5.SC
    And then he goes on to explain why these angels are assigned to each order.

    Again, as I noted earlier in the thread, it's possible that these "sons of God' were some other unknown creatures that are referred to as angels by the correlation of this term "sons of God" with Job's definition. Yet, we also see individuals who are not pure spirits referred to as "angels" all over Scripture.
    "Be not therefore solicitous for tomorrow; for the morrow will be solicitous for itself. Sufficient for the day is the evil thereof." [Matt. 6:34]

    "In all thy works remember thy last end, and thou shalt never sin." [Ecclus. 7:40]

    "A holy man continueth in wisdom as the sun: but a fool is changed as the moon." [Ecclus. 27:12]