Posted May 12, 2014 by in Interesting Books

The Nephilim: Human-Divine Hybrids?

“The Nephilim were on the earth in those days and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bore children to them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown.” - Genesis 6:4 (NIV)

“And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, “The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size. We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.” Numbers 13:32-33 (NIV)

Is it possible that giants really did walk the earth?

Photo posted by Barracuadz at https://www.flickr.com/photos/heimdahlrecounts/4356172958


For centuries humans have looked to the stars, wondering if we are alone in this universe, attributing weird phenomena to extra-terrestrials: UFOs, crop circles, cattle mutilations, and abductions. It is written in the Old Testament that the “sons of God” and the “daughters of men” bred, resulting in the birth of children: a race of giants, hybrids created of heaven and earth. These two Biblical passages have created a growing sub-category of Christian fiction. The intriguing nature of the “sons of God” and the vague description of the Nephilim has provided authors with immense freedom; the Nephilim can be found in the past, present, future, and even alternative universes.

It is accepted among the theological community that the “sons of God” are fallen angels, and as such any offspring is unworthy of God’s grace. The idea of turning away from God is terrifying for Christians, and corrupted angels who chose to leave His presence are an easy antagonist for fiction writers. For decades both Christian and non-Christian authors have written about conspiracy theories; author L.A. Marzulli’s Nephilim Series trilogy depicts an alliance between technologically-advanced, alien-type creatures and a secret unit of the American government. Together, they are creating an army of Nephilim.

While fiction, Marzulli’s story is based on the largely accepted idea that fallen angels have a nefarious desire to usurp God’s authority over mankind. Genetic assimilation has long been a non-militaristic method of conquering a people, so the idea of a hybrid-race of beings, the Nephilim, is great. That is what makes a thought frightening, a foundation of plausibility.

I have to wonder, though, if the birth of Nephilim would actually be viable. First, could human and heavenly beings possibly have compatible DNA? The moment of conception truly is a miracle of science under the best of circumstances. Second, in Marzulli’s series these offspring are grown in large glass jars in a lab; however, pregnancy was limited to natural birth in Old Testament times. Could a human female successfully bring one of these giants to term and deliver?

Christian authors are drawn to the Nephilim because there is already an established understanding of the concept among readers, and yet they can maintain carte blanche. I find it interesting that mainstream science fiction has not yet adopted these human-alien hybrids.

Rachel Storey

Software engineer by day, bookworm by night. I love reading. I love writing about reading. I love talking about writing about reading. I joined Bookkaholic to have great conversations about literature, so please feel free to leave comments and discussions.