I was raised in church. I’ve often joked with folks that in the church of my youth, the pastor had to push his way through the our family to get the doors unlocked. That experience formed me and gave me some connections that have lasted my lifetime.
We changed our church affiliation when I was 13. The involvement didn’t change at all. I did the Monday evening visitation where we’d go and knock on neighborhood doors to talk to folks about Christ. I sat in Sunday School. I sat in Sunday Morning Services. I sat in Wednesday evening services. I was taught all the standard things that I assume almost every other Western Evangelical was taught.
I don’t remember anything being taught to me about the sons of God taking daughters of men as wives. I was not taught that chapter 6 in Genesis records an episode where a divinely established order was violated and resulted in the birth of part-spirit being, part-human giants (nephilim). I wasn’t taught anything about the divine/spiritual realm other than about Father, Son, Holy Spirit, and Satan. I was certainly never taught anything that included “other gods” in any meaningful way.
For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods.
But without other gods, if they are nothing and non-existent, what is this verse saying? Is it saying the LORD is a great King above made up beings? Above nothing? Further, what do we do when the god Dagon 1 is referred to in the same manner, with the same word, as the LORD 2?
Along with this what was left out, there were things I was warned away from. To me, apocrypha might as well have meant anathema. I came to the conclusion that these books were deceptive and had no value. They weren’t scripture, and were therefore useless. They were to be avoided and I obeyed. I remained willfully and intentionally ignorant of their content.
Maybe we should treat them like bible commentaries or Christian books written today. That was my moment. Wait. What?
That’s what started my latest journey in understanding. I’d noticed that some quotes in the New Testament didn’t have the little letter and the note referencing the scripture that was being quoted. Many did. I use my references and always try to check them. Once in a while, you find new testament writers quoting a work that existed outside of scripture. Jude:14-15 for example.
I was a bit stunned to find that some were quotes from the Book of Enoch. You know, one of those books to avoid. I ended up stumbling across this guy, Dr, Michael Heiser 3 and some of his teachings. The understanding his teachings give has helped the Bible make much more sense to me. I’d challenge you to listen to some of what he teaches.
This is longer than I intended so I’ll end it now with a summary of what he says to relieve any ideas he may be heretical:
- The Book of Enoch is not, and should not, ever be part of the Canon;
- God, our LORD, is a unique being and there is no other being like him;
- God is the creator of everything, including other divine beings;
- Jesus Christ is/was/will be God and is the sole pathway to salvation.