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Galatians and the Gods

A Study of the Supernatural Worldview in Galatians

The following appears as an Appendix in Douglas Van Dorn, Galatians: A Supernatural Justification (Erie, CO: Waters of Creation Publishing, 2015). I'm going to be uploading an updated version to as a .pdf soon. But this is the original, written when I was first starting to teach the divine council and Deuteronomy 32 worldviews. This was when I was preaching through, of course, Galatians. Enjoy.

In this blog I want to look at the supernatural side of Paul’s letter to the Galatians, particularly angels and other spiritual beings called the stoicheia. This is a mostly unnoticed undercurrent in this letter, partly because Paul’s strong emphasis on the Law and circumcision quite naturally sweeps us away, and for good reason. If you are anything like me, I think you will find this both stimulating and fascinating.

The letter of Galatians was written by the Apostle Paul to a group of mixed Christians (i.e. Jews and Gentiles) in the province of Galatia probably around 50 A.D. It was not written to a single church, but to churches (Gal 1:2). The term “galatia” can be used ethnically or territorially. If it is being used ethnically, then it refers to the original inhabitants known as the Celts,[1] and its probable audience is central and northern Galatia.[2] If it is being used territorially, then it is probably being written to the churches Paul planted on his first missionary journey which includes cities like Iconium, Derbe, and Lystra (Acts 14).[3] Both of these have intriguing historical correspondences to the curious other-worldly references in the letter. Let me explain that before introducing you to these ideas.

Most people think of the Celts as an ancient tribe that in inhabited Britain and Ireland, but the main territory they occupied was on the continent, primarily in Gaul and Germani. Gaul is an ancient term that describes the region that today takes up France, Luxembourg, Belgium, most of Switzerland, the western part of Northern Italy, and parts of the Netherlands and Germany on the west bank of the Rhine.[4] The people who lived here were called Scythians (also Sacae and later Saxons) by the Greeks. Josephus (37 – 100 A.D.), the Jewish historian, relates that Magog the brother of Gomer and grandson of Noah, was the ancestor of these people.[5] To the east of the Rhine in modern Germany and Scandinavia were the Cimbri and Teuton peoples. The Greek historian Strabo (63 B.C. – 24 A.D.) wrote that the Romans who lived in Gaul called them “Germani” in order to indicate that they were the “authentic” Celts, for germani means “genuine.”[6]

“Gaul” is thought by some to derive from a word meaning “powerful.”[7] Others suggest that “Celt” and “Gaul” have the same meaning, something like “potent” and “valiant men.”[8] Why might they have been so powerful? Many ancient historians tell us that these Gauls, and especially their princes, were giants. (It is difficult to know if the Celts were all giants; if a remnant of giants had come into their midst and set themselves up as kings and gods, sort of like Goliath a descendant of Anak who was enlisted into the Philistine army; or if marriages between an ancient giant clan[s] and smaller Celtic clans had introduced genetic possibilities of very large Celtic children). The early 18th Century historian Paul Pezron says these Gauls “exceeded all others in bulk and strength of body; and hence it is that they have been looked upon to be terrible people, and as it were Giants.”[9] For example, the Roman historian Julias Florus (2nd Century A.D.) describes one Teutobocchus (a blue eyed, yellow haired Gaul king) as “a man of extraordinary stature” who used to “vault over four or six horses at once” but “could scarcely mount one when he fled.” When captured he “was seen above all the trophies or spoils of the enemies, which were carried upon the tops of spears.”[10] The Greek historian Polybius (200 – 188 B.C.) laments that thanks to the Celts the Roman legionaries had become super fighting machines. “Once they had got used to being struck down by Gauls they were incapable of imagining anything worse.”[11] There are many stories and legends of these giant Gauls/Celts to be found in the histories and mythologies of those peoples.

The Germani were even worse for they were the “true Celts” as Strabo explained. The Christians historian Hegesippus (110 – 180 A.D.) wrote that the Germans “are superior to other nations by the largeness of their bodies and their contempt of death.”[12] The Roman Vegetius (4th – 5th Cent. A.D.) wrote, “What could our undersized men have done against the tall Germans.” Columella (4 – 70 A.D.) says, “Nature has made Germany remarkable for armies of very tall men.”[13]Sidonius Apollinaris (430 – 489 A.D.) reports that so many of the people were seven feet tall and up that he could not address them properly.[14]Augustine reports of a German (Goth) woman being paraded around the streets of Rome who “by her gigantic size over-topped all others.”[15] As late as the 1500s, a German by the name of Aymon grew to 11 feet tall. The famed Baron Bentenrieder—who was himself eight feet eight inches—“hardly reached up to Arymon’s armpits.”[16] Still another named Hans Braw was estimated at 12 feet 8 inches tall![17] So fierce were these Germans that, “The Gauls,” reports Julius Caesar (100 – 15 B.C.), “had not been able to endure even the expression on their faces or the glare of their eyes.”[18] The Romans called them “Berserkers,” and for decades the greatest army on earth was continually slaughtered by these giants in war (and people wonder where Hitler got the idea of a “super-race” from)!

How does this relate to Galatians? In two ways. First, the Celts/Gauls seem to have inhabited the region of Galatia in very early times. Josephus stated that Gomer the son of Japheth the son of Noah settled in Galatia. “Gomer founded those whom the Greeks now call Galatians [Galls], but were then called Gomerites.”[19] The name Gomer in Akkadian is Gimirru (they called them Gimmerai). Europeans called them Cimmerians or Cimbri. Many of these Cimbri migrated north and west into Gaul and became the Celts. Second, during the centuries long wars with the up and coming Romans (3rd – 1st centuries B.C.), these Celts began to leave Gaul en masse (many had undoubtedly continued past Gaul in earlier times). Some went north into Britannia, and there is evidence to suggest they migrated further west into North America where they became the tall blonde Adena people known to the Indians.[20] Others returned towards the place of their origin, migrating back towards Galatia. In fact, Galatia takes its name from the Gauls (Celts). It comes from a Greek word (gala) meaning “milk.” Galatea means “she who is milk-white,” as the Celts were the white skinned blonde giants of ancient times.

The migration of these ancient peoples seems to have begun in the region of today’s Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan around the Jaxartes River which flows into the Aral Sea.[21] This matches the migration of the ancient Kurgan peoples, made famous in pop-culture by the Kurgan Immortal in the first Highlander movie.[22] These ancient Kurgans were depicted as extremely tall and of Caucasian descent in golden figures discovered near the Black Sea.

Replica of a 4th century B.C. Scythian horseman. Found at the Kul’ Oba kurgan near Kerch (northern Black Sea).

Note how the legs of the riders go all the way to the ground! These were either very small horses, or very tall men, much like Teutobocchus as discussed above.

Some moved northwest, north of the Black Sea, into Serbia and finally to Germany. Others went southwest, first into Margiana, Hircania, and Bactriana, and then south of the Caspian Sea into Armenia where they continued to migrate south (into Syria and Arabia) and west (into Galatia, Phrygia and beyond). It is curious the southern migrations go right past the ancient region of Babel, where Nimrod the “mighty hunter” (who in the Greek translation of the OT is called a giant; Gen 10:8-10) seems to have built the famous Tower of Babel. It also takes you near the regions of the giants kings mentioned in Genesis 14 (including Shinar, Elasar and Elam, and Goiim which may have been near Galatia).[23]

Migration of Celts according to Pezron (Left). T. R. Holme, “The Kurgan Invasion" (Right)

All of this is background necessary for enriching your understanding of the demonic worldview Paul presents in his letter to the Galatians. “How could that be,” you ask? It is a good question. The answer is that for the demons were thought by many in ancient times to be the restless souls of the giants who perished in the flood.[24] These demons become the “evil spirits” of the NT, but in older times they were viewed as neither good nor bad, but as intermediaries between the gods and humanity.[25] The Galatians would have been intimately acquainted with such ideas for obvious reasons.

If “Galatians” refers to a geographical region of the Roman Empire, then it is likely that Paul is writing to the churches he planted on his first missionary journey. In one of these very cities, the Galatian city called Lystra, we read of a man crippled from birth whom Paul healed because he saw the man had faith in Christ (Acts 14:8-10). When this occurred, the people lifted up their voices as one and said in their native tongue, “The gods have come down to us in the likeness of men!” (vs. 11). So they called Barnabas Zeus and Paul they called Hermes because he was the chief speaker (vs. 12). How strange! Why did these Galatians think such a thing?

Hermes was worshiped as the god of magic and healing by the Greeks,[26] but he was also a great teacher of wisdom and understanding,[27] the ultimate messenger god of the pantheon. He has exact counterparts in Jewish (Pênêmûe), Egyptian (Thoth), and Roman (Mercury) traditions. A “messenger” in both Greek and Hebrew is also an angel. Hence, it is very curious that Paul tells us in the middle of his letter, “You received me as an angel of God” (Gal 4:14).[28] Why? Because they thought he was Hermes! Yet, Paul says, “It was because of a bodily ailment that I preached the gospel to you at first ... yet you did not scorn or despise me” (4:13-14). It seems that because he healed others and proclaimed the message of the gospel, they overlooked the small little detail that he did not heal himself (proof from God Almighty to them that he was not in fact Hermes)!

So both Acts and Galatians explains that the people thought Paul was one of the gods come down out of heaven and an angel of God. Where would they get such an idea? They get it from Genesis 6:1-4 (though it was surely part of their own mythology, as this is a universal story told on every continent). Genesis 6:1-4 explains that the “sons of God” took wives from among the children of men.[29] Keep the term “sons of God” in the back of your mind as we will return to this idea (see also the sermon “Sons of God” in the book). The only known interpretation of this passage at the time of Paul’s writing (which includes 2 Peter 2:4-5 and Jude 6[30] and maybe Matt 24:37-38; Luke 17:26-27; 1 Cor 11:10, and 1 Peter 3:18-20) was that this referred to heavenly beings taking wives from among human beings. The Hebrew equivalent of Hermes (Pênêmûe) was said to be one of these heavenly beings in Jewish tradition.[31] In other words, in ancient times, Hermes had once descended to earth in the form of a human being. The Galatians thought he was doing so again when Paul and Barnabas arrived.

The result of this forbidden union (they were not “according to their kind.” Cf. Gen 1:12, 21, 24, 25; 6:20; 7:14) was that they had children called Nephilim. The word nephilim means “giant,”[32] as the Greek translation of the OT renders the word. This brings us full circle to the idea that “Galatia” may refer to an ethic group. These giants were destroyed in the Great Flood and their spirits were thought to have become the demons. After the Flood, more giants came upon the earth (perhaps through another rebellion of angels or through mixed DNA in someone on the Ark). This is a main reason for the battles of Joshua in the Promised Land, for when the spies returned they said, “There are giants in the land and they devour (i.e. eat) the people,” something that is reported throughout the world when stories of giants come up. The point, again, is that the Galatians were intimately familiar with a worldview that we modern “enlightened” and “de-supernaturalized” people can scarcely imagine. It is a worldview that Paul explains in a good many verses in Galatians. With this as background, let’s take a look at this hidden side of the letter, a side which you will see is not really all that “hidden” at all.

Paul begins by thanking God for giving us Christ who “gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age” (Gal 1:4). The present evil age is associated in the NT with both natural and supernatural enemies. This is part of the burden of the letter to explain. A few verses later he says, “Even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed” (1:8). Without the proper background, this sounds like a very strange thing to say. “An angel from heaven” preaching to the Galatians? I’ve touched on how the Galatians believed Paul himself was a god sent from heaven in the form of Hermes and how this “sons of God” descended to earth in elder times in order to prepare you for this kind of language.

After this, for many verses the flow of Paul’s thought seems to be exclusively natural. That is, he is dealing with Jewish teachers who have somehow duped the Galatians to return to the law and circumcision. Suddenly, in 3:1 he uses the word “bewitched” in the form of a question, “Who has bewitched you?” This has obvious connotations of the supernatural world. The word “bewitched” is baskaino, a very interesting word indeed. It means “to slander” or “to cast the evil eye” upon someone through magic and spells. The Greeks imagined that rays came out of the eyes, and had serpentine figures of their mythology such as the Gorgon, the Medusa, or the Basilisk (note the similarity to baskaino) that did just this. This word is a foretaste of stranger things to come.

The first of these strange things occurs when Paul says that the law was put into effect through angels by an intermediary. Actually, there are two strange things here. “Law” here refers to the Mosaic Law, including the Ten Commandments and its 600 plus applications of the civil and ceremonial case law. Acts 7:53[33] and Hebrews 2:2[34] both suggest this same idea, that angels put the law into effect. This comes from the Greek version (Septuagint) of Deuteronomy 33:2-4 which explains that ten thousands of holy ones came with the LORD upon Sinai and Moses received God’s words.[35] The reason why angels would come with God at Mt. Sinai is explained by something Psalm 82:1 calls “the divine council” (ESV).

The divine council is, “A term used by Hebrew and Semitics scholars for the heavenly host, the pantheon of divine beings who administer the affairs of the cosmos.[36] Daniel 7:9-10 is a good place to see the function of this council. Here, thrones (plural) are positioned around God. Thousands upon thousands of holy heavenly beings are present. The heavenly court sits in judgment and the books are opened. Angels or “holy ones” are coming upon Mt. Sinai and giving the law to Moses because this is a chief function of their God-given authority as rulers and judges of the affairs of humanity. This may seem strange and foreign to contemporary ears, but it is the teaching of these passages.

Even stranger than the angelic decree of law, these angels have an intermediary between them and God. Many scholars who have no worldview to can contain such theology will insist that the “intermediary” here is Moses and that he is interceding between God (or angels) and Israel. If this were true, the next verse would be gibberish. It says, “An intermediary implies more than one, but God is one.” This makes absolutely no sense as F.F. Bruce asks, “In what way does the affirmation that God is one form an antithesis to what is said about the mediator?”[37]

A better option is that the mediator is not human (between angels and men, a role the demons take in the ancient world![38]) but angelic, and that this angelic mediator mediates between the angels and God. In other words, He tells the angels what to write or say, or however it all worked out. Deuteronomy 9:9-10 says that when Moses went up the mountain to receive the tablets of stone, “The LORD gave me the two tablets of stone written with the finger of God, and on them were all the words that the LORD had spoken with you on the mountain out of the midst of the fire on the day of the assembly.” The finger of God is not some nebulous anthropomorphism for the Father; it is descriptive language for God coming in visible form. Michael Heiser suggests that this mediator is none other than the Angel of the LORD.[39] This Angel is both a mediator and God, in other words Christ preincarnate. Thus, Paul’s reference to “one God” makes perfect sense in the context. Even though a mediator implies more than one (i.e. three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), there is still only one God (i.e. one being: God). This is a proof-text of the Trinity!

Immediately after explaining that the law was giving through angels by an intermediary, Paul then begins to describe how Scripture imprisoned everything under sin (Gal 3:22). “Scripture” here is a word that encompasses the three forces that the Bible tells us are engaged against us: The world, the flesh, and the devil. It does not say this in so many words, but it is a helpful way of understanding the argument. Paul says that three main things have held us captive and imprisoned. The first is the law (Gal 3:23-24). He says that the Galatians were “held captive under the law, imprisoned. . .” and says that the law was our “guardian.” The word “guardian” here is used in the ancient world of a slave who is set over the child of a father to superintend his life and morals until the child should grow to adulthood. The KJV famously renders it “a schoolmaster.” The law was our slave-teacher and thus prison in the sense of showing us (and indeed increasing) our sin, thus our need for a savior and redemption (cf. Rom 3:19-20; 5:20; 7:5-13). As the “law” is being applied to Gentiles who did not have the Ten Commandments, it must refer to the moral part of the law that is written on our hearts by nature (cf. Rom 2:14-15). It is something that belongs to the whole world and as such I have tied it to “the world” for the sake of simplicity and understanding.

The second thing (actually the third) that relates to captivity is “the slave woman” (Gal 4:22-24). Paul uses OT history here allegorically. Abraham had a wife named Sarah. But he had a handmaiden named Hagar whom Sarah convinced to sleep with Abraham in order to give him a son since she was too old herself. Hagar gave Abraham a biological son, a child of the flesh but not the promise. Hence, I have linked this captivity to the flesh or the things in our nature that try to gain the promise through works rather than faith.

The third thing (actually second) that he says held us captive is “the elementary principles of the world” (ESV; Gal 4:3). This is the part I really want to focus upon. “Elementary principles” is actually a single word in Greek. The word is stoicheia. What are these stoicheia? Again, not having a supernatural worldview capable of handling the truth, many assume that it must refer to legalistic Jewish law-keeping. In fact, I first began to be suspicious of this view after hearing a pastor teach on Galatians 4:10-11, “You observe days and months and seasons and years! I am afraid I may have labored over you in vain.” His argument was that Christians are no longer bound to keep the Sabbath because of this verse.

Judiasers, he said, were telling the Galatians they had to keep Jewish holy days. “Days” refers to refers to biblical OT days, the chief of which was the Sabbath. He then made the following startling claim, “False religions are headed up by demons and they are enslaving ... clearly the Jewish laws in view here are the old covenants (implying that OT Judaism was a false religion). To return to those, including the Sabbath, is to return to paganism. Therefore, Christians should not keep the Sabbath.”[40] This is an astonishing—if not (unwittingly) blasphemous—claim. His point about demons comes from Galatians 4:8, “You were enslaved to those that by nature are not gods.” He rightly points out that these “no gods” were enslaving people. He rightly calls them demons (see below). But his worldview is incapable of holding more than one enslaving principle in the ancient world. Yet, that is exactly what is going on. The stoicheia refers not to the Law (which was put into effect by angels, not demons), but to “those who are not gods.” Note the “stoicheia sandwich” parallel in the following verses:

Vs. 3 You were enslaved to the stoicheia of the world.

Vs. 8 You were enslaved to those that by nature are not gods.

Vs. 9 How can you turn back to the weak and worthless stoicheia of the world, whose slaves you want to be once more?

Let me summarize before I explain. The law enslaved the Jewish Christians in Galatia prior to their conversion, while the demons enslaved the Gentile Christians in Galatia prior to their conversion. Both groups are present in the Galatians churches (the Gentiles are picked out by name in Gal 3:8, 9, 14) and both enslavers are here in this section of Galatians. To understand this, it is helpful to see where else Paul uses this kind of language and then turn to the OT source for his worldview.

First, note that in this passage, Paul does not call the stoicheia “demons,” but “gods.” In 1 Corinthians 8:5-6 he says, “Although there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth—as indeed there are many gods and many lords—yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.” Note, Paul does not deny the existence of other gods. In fact, he affirms it! Don’t let that bother you. It is not a death-blow to monotheism. But you do need to let the text speak without silencing it yourself. What he says is that these “gods” are utterly inferior to the One God and to Jesus Christ who created them. God has self-existence, omnipotence, omniscience etc., but gods do not. (Note: the “gods” he has in mind here are personal entities, not merely the “god” of money or food etc). Who are these “gods?” There are two separate entities that are in view in the Bible.

The first entity can be seen in the same discussion to the Corinthians. Paul calls them “demons” (1 Cor 10:20-21). Demons are real beings, affirmed as far back as Deuteronomy 32:17 where they are equated with “gods.” “They sacrificed to demons, not God, to gods they had never known, to new gods that had come recently, whom your fathers had never dreaded.” These demons are the evil “spirits” of the Gospels which Jesus and the Disciples encountered on so many occasions. As I have already mentioned, they were thought in those days to be the spirits of the drown Nephilim, the giant offspring of the sons of God and daughters of men from Genesis 6:1-4.

This leads straight into a second class of being which the Bible often refers to as “gods.” They are sometimes called the “sons of God,” though they are also called the “heavenly host,” “stars,” and other things. The sons of God are heavenly beings who were present at the creation of the physical universe (Job 38:7), who came to present themselves with Satan to the LORD (Job 1:6; 2:1), and who took wives from the daughters of men and had gigantic wicked children who began to rule over men (Gen 6:1-4). They are real beings, as David affirms when he says, “I will You thanks with all my heart; I will sing praises to You before the gods” (Ps 138:1). Imagine if these gods were not real beings. It would be like saying, “I will praise you before the Justice League or the Smurfs.”

Over and over again, Deuteronomy tells us that the whole world had been given over to and allotted heavenly beings to rule over them (cf. Deut 4:19-20; 17:3; 29:26; 32:7-9; 17). Psalm 82 particularly explains how these beings did not rule with justice and righteousness and will therefore be severely punished. Yet, as noted above, these gods are never equated with God or with Jesus Christ who created them. For example, in Colossians (the only other letter where the stoicheia appear; 2:8, 20) we learn up front that by Jesus Christ “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” (Col 1:16). This verse is filled not only with natural creation, but with supernatural creation at the hands of Jesus. Notice that these supernatural beings are called thrones, dominions, rulers, and authorities. The NT sees heavenly beings as ruling beings. This is but the tip of the iceberg, but it is enough to affirm the existence of lesser beings (called gods) who are in no way equal to the Father, Son, or Holy Spirit. The magnificent truth Paul is giving to these Galatians (at this moment focusing on the Gentiles among them) is that in Christ through the gospel and by faith, they have been set free from the rule and authority of these beings who held them in captivity. He is now their master. Slavery to him is actually freedom for the very first time (see Gal 5:1ff).

“Sons of God” is a particularly important and relevant title given what Paul says throughout this section of Galatians. Sonship is perhaps the dominant theme of Galatians 3-4. Those who have faith in Christ are “sons of Abraham” (3:7). This sonship is not through the things of the world or the flesh, but comes about supernaturally by faith and adoption.

We are alsosons of God” (3:26). This sonship is rooted in the Sonship of Jesus Christ. “God sent forth his Son, born of woman, burn under law. . . so that we might receive adoption as sons” (Gal 4:4-5). In verse 6 “you are sons” and “God has sent the Spirit of his Son into your hearts.” In verse 7 “you are no longer a slave, but a son.” This change from slave to son is the topic that brings about the whole discussion of the stoicheia.

When it refers to Jesus as God’s “son,” this is the same yet different from the OT sons of God. It is the same in that Jesus in the OT was “The Angel of the LORD.” These other sons are also angelic or heavenly beings and Jesus was in this way like them. In as much as they were all sons of God, Jesus was their brother. Yet, Jesus is unlike all the other heavenly sons of God. For he is the only begotten son, that is the only unique son, the only uncreated son, the only omnipotent son etc. This is why it seems that any time the NT begins to talk about these heavenly beings, Jesus and his sovereign rule over them (because he both created them and defeated them at the cross and resurrection) is never far away.

It is fascinating that Paul should refer to us as sons of God too! In inheriting this title we are being lifted up to an exalted position held by the highest order of angelic beings. Yet, our position is greater than theirs. This is why it says, “Do you not know that we shall judge angels?” (1 Cor 6:3). As Jesus was fashioned in the womb of Mary “a little lower than the angels,” he was also crowned with glory and honor so that now at the name of Jesus every knee will bow in heaven and on earth (Php 2:10). As a man, Jesus has lifted us up to his high estate in the world to come. He has set us free from the bondage and servitude of the demons and their fallen fathers. And if we have been set free, then we would never want again to return to the kind of slavery to them that we and our ancestors had before the gospel came and gave us new life. That is the supernatural worldview of Galatians. That is the significance of Galatians and the gods.

[1] David Noel Freedman, Allen C. Myers and Astrid B. Beck, “Galatia,” in Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible (Grand Rapids, Mich.: W.B. Eerdmans, 2000), 476. [2] See Hans Dieter Betz, Galatians : A Commentary on Paul's Letter to the Churches in Galatia, Hermeneia--a critical and historical commentary on the Bible (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1979), 5, 9-13. [3] See F. F. Bruce, The Epistle to the Galatians : A Commentary on the Greek Text (Grand Rapids, Mich.: W.B. Eerdmans Pub. Co., 1982), 3-18. [4] More technically, it is “a region of northern Europe bounded by the Rhone River on the east, the Alps on the south-east, the Mediterranean on the south, they Pyrenees on the south-west, the Atlantic on the west, and the English Channel on the north-west.” John T. Koch, “Gaul,” in Celtic Culture: A Historical Encyclopedia Vol. 1 (Santa Barbara, CA, 2006), 793. [5] Josephus, Antiquities 1.123. [6] Geography of Strabo 7.1.2. [7] See Helmut Birkhan, The Celts (Vienna, 1997), 48. [8] Paul Pezron, The Antiquities of Nations; More Particularly of the Celte or Gauls, Mr. D. Jones, translator (London: R. Janeway, publisher, 1706), 276. [9] Pezron, 48. [10] Florus, The Epitome of Roman History, 1.38.3. [11] Cited in Gerhard Herm, The Celts (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1975), 19. A particularly vivid and short history of the Roman wars with the giants of Gaul and neighboring Germany can be found in Charles DeLoach, Giants: A Reference Guide from History, the bible, and Recorded Legend (Metuchen, N.J.: Scarecrow Press, 1995), see especially the sections “Celtic Giants,” “German Giant’s Annihilation,” and “Giants Who Became Gods.” This includes history from the likes of Julius Caesar, Plutarch, and Diodorus among others. [12] Hegesippus, Histories 2.9. This book is a compilation of Josephus’ Wars, and is usually thought to be pseudepigraphal (that is, attributed to Hegesippus, but probably not actually written by him). [13] These sources are cited in Johann Georg Keyssler, Travels through Germany, Hobemia, Hungary, Switzerland, Italy, and Lorrain Vol. 1 (London, G. Keith, 1760), 51-52. [14] Cited in Cornelius Tacitus (56 – 117 A.D.), “Treatise on the Situations, Manners, and People of Germany,” in Works 4 (Philadelphia: Thomas Wardle, 1838), note 9. [15] Augustine, City of God 15.23.2. [16] Keyssler, 39. [17] Ibid., 52. [18] Caesar, Commentary 1.39. [19] Josephus, Antiquities 1:123. [20] See Frank Joseph, Advanced Civilizations of Prehistoric America (Rochester, VT: Bear & Company, 2010), 10-84, [21] Pezron, 41-42. [22] Marija Gimbutas, “The Kurgan Culture and the Indo-Europeanization of Europe: Selected Articles from 1952 to 1993,” ed. Miriam Robbins Dexter and Karlene Jones-Bley. Journal of Indo-European Studies Monograph No. 18 [Washington, D.C.: Institute for the Study of Man, 1997]: xix + 404 pages [23] These lands are filled with gigantic megalithic ruins (places like Göbekli Tepe, Baalbek, Gilgal Refaim etc.) which traditions say were built by giants. [24] Cf., 1 Enoch 15:8-16:1; Athenagoras, A Plea to Christians 24-25; Eusebius, Preparation for the Gospel 5.4; JustinMartyr, 2 Apology 5. [25] Cf. Augustine, City of God 8.23.1; 9.8.1. Augustine does not deny that the demons are intermediaries; he denies that they may be trusted because he sees them as fallen, evil beings. [26] From Hermes we derive the term hermitic seal. He was believed to possess a magic ability to seal treasure chests so that nothing could access their contents. Alchemy and hermeticism are two esoteric philosophic/religious traditions that are rooted in the magic healing of Hermes. [27] From Hermes we derive hermeneutics or the art of interpretation of a text. [28] The full thought reads, “you received me as an angel of God, as Christ Jesus.” Hence, the idea that Jesus was an angel come out of heaven to be a man. [29] The text does not say that the sons of Seth took wives from among the children of Cain. “Cain” does not equal “man,” and “Seth” does not equal “God.” [30] Commentaries that take this view include This is the view of Peter and Jude include Richard J. Bauckham, Jude 2 Peter, Word Biblical Commentary (Waco, TX: Word Books, 1983), 50-53; Edwin A. Blum, Jude, The Expositors Bible Commentary Vol. 12 (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1981), 390;, Peter H. Davids, The Letters of 2 Peter and Jude, Pillar New Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2006), 48-51; Gene L. Green, Jude & 2 Peter, Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2008), 66-70; Michael Green, 2 Peter and Jude, Tyndale New Testament Commentaries (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1987), 191-92; Douglas J. Moo, 2 Peter, Jude, NIV Application Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1996), 241-42; Thomas R. Schreiner, 1, 2 Peter, Jude, New American Commentary (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman, 2003), 447-51 and many others and many others. [31] 1 Enoch 69:8-16. [32] The word does not mean “to fall,” but “giant.” This is proven from Numbers 13:33 which spells the word two different ways (the second is an explanation of the first). The first way is the older n-ph-l-m. The second is n-phy-l-m, a word which in Aramaic means “giant.” See Michael Heiser, The Myth That Is True (unpublished), 80-83. [33] Stephen says here that the law was diatagas (“delivered by” or “ordained by,” or “decrees given by,” or “from the direction of”) angels. [34] This verse talks about “the message declared by angels that proved to be reliable.” [35] “The LORD came from Sinai and dawned from Seir upon us; he shone forth from Mount Paran; with ten thousands of [holy ones]; on his right hand were his angels with him. And he spared his people, and all his holy ones are under your hands; and they are under you; and he received of his words, the law which Moses charged us.” [36] Michael S. Heiser, “The Divine Council,” in Dictionary of the Old Testament: Wisdom, Poetry, and Writings (Downers Grove, Ill: Intervarsity Press, 2008). This introduction to the council can be read online: [37] F. F. Bruce, The Epistle to the Galatians : A Commentary on the Greek Text (Grand Rapids, Mich.: W.B. Eerdmans Pub. Co., 1982), 178. [38] Prophets play the role as mediators between God (as opposed to angels or the gods) and humanity. [39] Heiser, Myth, p. 152-32. Heiser suggests that the angels are here as members of the divine council, a kind of heavenly court of beings who were created by God to rule over the affairs of heaven and earth. [40]

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Jan 21

Hi, I was wondering if you have any thoughts on the idea that perhaps the divine council themselves were the ones who came up with the plan for Torah.

Feb 01
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