Frankly Faraci Podcast: Are Godawa’s Biblical Novels Rated R Like the Bible?

The novel series Chronicles of the Nephilim is sometimes edgy and shocking, but no more than the Bible is.

I explained to Matt Faraci how I integrated imagination and fiction with theology in my Biblical novels while seeking to maintain an honorable fidelity to the holy Scriptures.

Find out why many of my fans say that these novels have brought to life the Scriptural narrative in a way that has not been done before for them.

Hear why this series has dominated the Top 20 in Biblical Fiction for years on Amazon.com.

Listen to the podcast here in all its glory!

 

Free Book: When Giants Were Upon the Earth – Watchers, Nephilim and Biblical War of the Seed

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This is the Biblical and historical research behind the Best-selling series, Chronicles of the Nephilim.

“As someone Brian has tapped as a resource, I can tell you his focus is on peer-reviewed biblical scholarship. His sources are not his own opinions.”
Dr. Michael S. Heiser
PhD, Hebrew Bible and Semitic Studies
Academic Editor, Logos Bible Software

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Godawa Interviewed on Truth Frequency Radio: All Things Nephilim

Truth Frequency Radio

Check out the podcast here.

Rob Skiba: In this show, I interviewed my friend, author and Hollywood screenwriter Brian Godawa regarding his Biblical fiction novel series, The Chronicles of the Nephilim. We also talked about the research that went into these novels as well as his newest book in the new Chronicles of the Watchers series, The Dragon King. Giants, hybrids, fallen angels, demons and valiant warriors of YHWH – all the stuff you didn’t realize was actually in your Bible.

 

Of Myth and the Bible: Part 10 The Lion Men of Moab

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Another strange legendary creature shows up in the Bible that made it into my novel David Ascendant: Lion Men of Moab. In Hebrew, they are called Ariels. They are kind of like werewolves – but more like werelions.

 In 2 Sam. 23:20 Benaiah, a valiant warrior, strikes down “two ariels of Moab.” The word “ariel” is a transliteration because scholars are not sure what it means. The King James and Young’s Bibles translate these opponents of Benaiah as “lion-like men of Moab,” which captures the strangeness of the creatures but fails to express the religious or supernatural connotation of the word.

Some translators translate the phrase “ariels of Moab” as “sons of Ariel of Moab” after the unlikely LXX Greek translation,[1] or “lion-like heroes of Moab.” But there is no Hebrew word for “sons of” in the sentence, no indication of ariel being a personal name, and no Hebrew word for warrior used in the sentence. The Hebrew word for mighty warrior, gibborim, is used frequently throughout David’s narrative and that word is not here. The text says “two ariels of Moab.”

Some suggest it may be a reference to killing two lions. But the very next sentence states that Benaiah, the killer of the ariels, then killed a lion in a pit.

2 Samuel 23:20
And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was a valiant man of Kabzeel, a doer of great deeds. He struck down two ariels of Moab. He also went down and struck down a lion in a pit on a day when snow had fallen.
The Hebrew word for “lion” is not ariel, but aryeh. Adding the suffix “el” to the word adds a religious dimension of meaning that transcends mere lions. This is why Hebrew lexicons explain the most likely meaning as “lion of god.”[2] El was not merely a name used of Yahweh in the Bible, it was the name of the figurehead deity of the Canaanite pantheon as well as a general reference to deity in Mesopotamia.[3]In 1 Chronicles, some additional warriors from Gad join David when he is at Ziklag, and they are described exactly like ariels as “lion-faced warriors” with preternatural skills:
1 Chronicles 12:8
8 From the Gadites there went over to David at the stronghold in the wilderness mighty and experienced warriors, expert with shield and spear, whose faces were like the faces of lions and who were swift as gazelles upon the mountains:

Though animal-like abilities is a common metaphor used to describe extraordinary warrior skills, having faces like the faces of lions could mean more in light of the existence of these ariels, or Lion Men of Moab. Since the tribal location of Gad was precisely all the land of Moab across the Jordan, I decided to make the Gadite lion-faced men be those very Lion Men of Moab who converted to Israel and joined David. Two of these hybrid warriors then become the two traitors who face down Benaiah.

Psalm 57 was written when David was on the run and hiding out in a cave from Saul’s bounty hunters. Verse 4 says, “My soul is in the midst of lions; I lie down amid fiery beasts— the children of man, whose teeth are spears and arrows, whose tongues are sharp swords.” Though a surface reading of this text appears to be an obvious figurative expression of David’s enemies, scholar B. Mazar suggests it may be a reference to a mercenary military corps of archers whose emblem was the lion-goddess.[4] Could they have come from Moab?

So what if these ariels are hybrid creatures reminiscent of the Watchers’ miscegenation in Genesis 6? What if they are elite warriors with hairy bodies and lion-like faces that only one of David’s own gibborim Mighty Men could slay? After all, the exploits of those Mighty Men in the passages we have been looking at are supernatural slayings of giants and hundreds of soldiers by single warriors. If these ariels were mere warriors, then the feat accomplished by Benaiah in slaying them would be the only one in the entire passage that was banal and without significance.

These ariels were something more than men, something supernatural.The ancient understanding of ariel as a lion-like hybrid humanoid finds support in a later Nag Hammadi text that speaks of a gnostic deity, Yaldabaoth, who was an ariel (spelled slightly different): “Ariael is what the perfect call him, for he was like a lion.”[5]

The Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible says of this possible religious mythical interpretation of ariel:

This interpretation could be supported by a recently found bronze-silver figurine from Tell Abū el-Kharaz in Transjordan representing, according to the excavator’s opinion a male lion-faced warrior(-god?), which can be viewed, because of its appearance and its attributes, as a male pendant.[6]

The author then reveals that the word ariel shows up in the Mesha Stele, a Moabite stone inscription not too long after the time of King David.[7] These are the very Moabites from which 2 Samuel says the ariels come. The line of text in question could be translated, “the lion figure [ariel] of their beloved (god)’ which was dragged before Chemosh after the fall of the Israelite city.”[8]

Bible scholar B. Mazar notes this Mesha Stele connection and adds that the word ariel became a synonym for the lion-headed cherubim at the base of kingly thrones.[9]

So in David Ascendant, I created a special unit of these Ariels, lion-headed warriors of Moab, to explore that supernatural dimension with imagination that fit the thread of the cosmic War of the Seed.

The ancient Book of Jasher was a source text for both Joshua and David’s stories (Josh. 10:13, 2 Sam. 1:18). The extant version we have of the Book of Jasher, though dubitable, tells of two different stories that contain hybrid creatures that may be similar to the lion-men of Moab or the satyrs of Banias. In Jasher 36:29-35 we read of Anah, one of the sons of Seir the Horite, (remember the Seirites’ connection to satyrs) during the days of Abraham. There is a large storm that the writer says caused a group of about 120 “great and terrible animals” to come out of the forest by the seashore to be witnessed by Anah feeding his asses.

Jasher 36:29-35
And those animals, from their middle downward, were in the shape of the children of men, and from their middle upward, some had the likeness of bears, and some the likeness of the keephas, with tails behind them from between their shoulders reaching down to the earth, like the tails of the ducheephath, and these animals came and mounted and rode upon these asses, and led them away, and they went away unto this day.[10]
Another chapter in Jasher tells the story during the youth of Balaam son of Beor, about a strange animal that was devouring the cattle of the people of Chittim. A man named Zepho went in search of this creature and…
Jasher 61:15
he came into the cave and he looked and behold, a large animal was devouring the ox; from the middle upward it resembled a man, and from the middle downward it resembled an animal, and Zepho rose up against the animal and slew it with his swords.[11]

Were these creatures mere legends or were they genetic hybrid remnants of the miscegenation of the Watchers?

Read about the Lion Men of Moab in the novel, David Ascendant, Book 7 of Chronicles of the Nephilim.


[1] “Although the LXX interferes seriously in the text, presupposing a double haplography in the Hebrew text, this reading points into the right direction. As a matter of fact NKH Hiphʿil in the historical books never means to strike upon an object (cf. also E. Jenni, ErIs 24 [1993] 114–118), but to strike down, i.e. to kill somebody… Consequently, Ariel here designates some kind of person, best translated as ‘lion of God’: S. Münger, “Ariel,” ed. Karel van der Toorn, Bob Becking, and Pieter W. van der Horst, Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible (Leiden; Boston; Köln; Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge: Brill; Eerdmans, 1999), 88–89.
[2] Francis Brown, Samuel Rolles Driver and Charles Augustus Briggs, Enhanced Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon, electronic ed., 72 (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, 2000).
[3] W. Herrmann, “El,” ed. Karel van der Toorn, Bob Becking, and Pieter W. van der Horst, Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible (Leiden; Boston; Köln; Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge: Brill; Eerdmans, 1999), 275.
[4] B. Mazar, “The Military Élite of King David,” Vetus Testamentum, Vol. 13, Fasc. 3 (Jul., 1963), 312.
[5] James McConkey Robinson, Richard Smith and Coptic Gnostic Library Project, The Nag Hammadi Library in English, 4th rev. ed., 173 (Leiden; New York: E. J. Brill, 1996).
[6] S. Münger, “Ariel,” ed. Karel van der Toorn, Bob Becking, and Pieter W. van der Horst, Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible (Leiden; Boston; Köln; Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge: Brill; Eerdmans, 1999), 89. Münger refers to the Annual of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan (P. M. Fischer, ADAJ 40 [1996] 101–110, esp. 103–104 with figs. 3a-b).
[7] 850 B.C.
[8] S. Münger, DDD, 89. Pritchard’s Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament translates ariel as the name of the king of the city, and Hallo’s Context of Scripture translates it as the more unlikely object, fire hearth. James Bennett Pritchard, ed., The Ancient Near East an Anthology of Texts and Pictures, 3rd ed. with Supplement (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1969), 320; William W. Hallo and K. Lawson Younger, Context of Scripture (Leiden;  Boston: Brill, 2000), 137.
[9] B. Mazar, “The Military Élite of King David,” Vetus Testamentum, Vol. 13, Fasc. 3 (Jul., 1963), pp. 316.
[10] Johnson, Ken (2012-01-09). Ancient Book Of Jasher (p. 129).  Kindle Edition.
[11] Johnson, Book Of Jasher (p. 223).

50% OFF All Godawa Digital Teachings. Black November Sale!

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From now until December 4, you get 50% off your purchase of all Godawa’s teachings on the Nephilim, Enoch, Horror, Storytelling, Hollywood and the Bible on MP3 audio and Quicktime video.

Just use this code on checkout: 32057P49

This discount only applies to digital download MP3s and Quicktime videos sold directly through the Godawa.com store. It does not apply to any of Brian Godawa’s books, lectures or movies that are purchased or rented at Amazon.com on Instant Video, Kindle, paperback or audiobook.

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Dead Reckoning TV Interviews Godawa on Jesus Triumphant and Demons

I have great respect for these guys. They are funny, smart and creative.

They do some comedy skits about current issues with sharp wit.
And I LOVE Jay’s News Bulletin in Haiku. Brilliant and Funny.

And one of the best interviews on my series Chronicles of the Nephilim and the new novel, Jesus Triumphant. We talk about the Cosmic War of the Seed, the Watchers, and how the gods of the nations are real beings who battle the messianic bloodline ending in Jesus, who then disinherits those gods and takes back the earth. Jesus demon exorcism was not a mere display of power over spirits, it was a very specific action that is related to the Nephilim of Genesis 6. Listen and you’ll see why. We talked a little about self publishing novels as well.

Watch them online here.

 

Aaron Judkins Interviews Godawa on Nephilim, Noah’s Ark and the Watchers

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Listen to Epic Voyages Radio Interview of Godawa here.We talk about the rise and fall of the Nephilim in the Biblical Cosmic War of the Seed. Watchers, giants, and other bizarre phenomena of the Bible as it appears in the novel series, Chronicles of the Nephilim.
The host of the show, Dr. Aaron Judkins aka “Maverick” is an author, explorer, & archaeologist from Texas. He has a passion for searching for the truth about the mysteries of the past- exposing forbidden archaeology & forbidden history. He appears in the new documentary “Finding Noah,” about the current search for Noah’s Ark.

See his website, Man Vs. Archaeology, here.

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Christ’s Descent into Hell (Part 2)

In a previous post, we started looking at one of the most difficult and strange passages in the New Testament, 1 Peter 3:18-22. Many Christians avoid passages like this because they are difficult and hint at content that doesn’t fit well with their own theological views.

Let’s take another look at it with an attempt to clarify its meaning.

1 Peter 3:18–22
For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, because they formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water. Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to him.

In the previous post, I explained the two main views that Christ either “went” somewhere in his spirit body during his death on the cross or he “went” after he resurrected BEFORE he ascended into heaven. Then I proved that the “spirits in prison” were not humans but the angelic powers who had fallen during the days of Noah, and were imprisoned much like the book of 1Enoch says. (And Peter is borrowing from 1Enoch)

The last two questions we now want to address are:
Where did he go to proclaim to the spirits? (v. 19)
What did he proclaim? (v. 19)

Where is the “Prison”?

One interpretation of the prison is that it is a metaphor for human beings on earth who are “imprisoned” in their sin. But the context of the passage mitigates against this view.

When the New Testament refers to preaching the Gospel to people on earth, the Greek term for “soul,” is used (psyche). But this is not a term about a ghost in a machine, but rather an expression of the life of an individual human, their inner being, their “person,” or their “self.” Thus, Peter writes in 3:20 that “eight persons (psyche) were brought safely through the waters” in the ark during the Flood.

When Peter preaches the Gospel in Acts 2, it says that “those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls [psyche]… and awe came upon every soul [psyche]” (Acts 2:42-43). “Soul” could be used synonymously with “individuals” or “persons.”

But in 1 Peter 3, the distinct Greek term for “spirit” (pneuma), not “soul” (psyche), is used in contrast to the physical flesh. And these “spirits” are those who were disobedient in the days of Noah (v. 20), so they could not be people on earth at the time of Christ. Christ was proclaiming to spirits.

During the time of Christ, those who were around in the days of Noah could only be in one place according to the Old Testament: The underworld of Hades or Sheol.

What was Hades?

Hades was well known in the Greco-Roman world as the holding cell of the spirits of the dead until the judgment. Sheol was the Hebrew equivalent for Hades so the two could be used interchangeably.[1] Prisons in that time period were exactly that, holding cells for punishment. So when Peter refers to a prison for spirits, this view concludes that he is referring to Hades, just as he did in 2 Peter 2:4 when he said that the disobedient angels were cast into Tartarus, the lowest prison region in Hades.

There are orthodox traditions of Christian scholars who have supported this passage as referring to Christ’s proclamation as occurring at his physical ascension into heaven and others as referring to Christ’s spiritual descent into Hades. I take the position in Jesus Triumphant that Christ spiritually descended into Hades. So did early church fathers like Tertullian, Augustine, Jerome, Clement of Alexandria, Irenaeus, Cyril, and Origen, as well as Medieval scholastics like Robert Bellarmine, John Calvin, Thomas Aquinas, and modern scholars like Charles B. Cranfield, and Bo Reicke.[2] But I also incorporate the post-resurrection interpretation as well, with its fascinating possibilities.

Ad300x250-BookofEnoch1 Enoch, which seems to be the source of the Biblical text, does in fact depict Enoch as visiting the place of the condemned Watchers who were “formerly in heaven” (1 Enoch 16:2), and that place is described as a “deep pit,” in the bottom of a mountain, just like Tartarus of Hades (Sheol), “an empty place with neither heaven above nor an earth below” (1 Enoch 21:1-2).[5]

The descent of Christ in 1 Pet. 3:19 is poetically structured to counterbalance the ascent of Christ into heaven in verse 22. In the same way that Christ went down into Sheol, he later ascended up into heaven. But more importantly, if Christ makes a proclamation to the spirits in prison, those dead and bound prisoners are certainly not in heaven. They are most likely in Sheol.

Another passage, Ephesians 4:8 quotes Psalms 68:18 about Christ “ascending on high and leading a host of captives.” Paul then adds a parenthetical,

Ephesians 4:9-10
“In saying, ‘He ascended,’ what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower regions, the earth? He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.”
 
Christ “descending into the lower regions, the earth” can legitimately be interpreted as referring to Christ’s incarnation or even his descent in the Spirit on Pentecost.[6] But other scholarship argues that the phrase is better translated as “descending into the lowest parts of the earth,” in other words into Sheol.[7]

This underworld (Sheol) interpretation would seem to coincide with the memes presented in 1 Peter 3. The contrast of the heights of heaven with the depths of Sheol, and the tying of Christ’s death, descent into Sheol, resurrection, and ascension into the totality of his victory over the angelic principalities and powers.[8]

Psalm 68 says that after leading the host of captives, God “received gifts from men,” a reference to the notion of ancient victors receiving tribute from their conquered foes. Paul changes that “receiving of gifts” into “giving of gifts” as a expansion of that victory over foes into a sharing of victory with his army, the people of God. Perhaps this is the meaning of the Old Testament saints resurrected at the time of Christ’s resurrection (Matt. 27:52-53). They too were sharing in the long awaited victory train of Messiah to free them from Hades and ascend into heaven.

The context of conquest over the angelic powers is also apparent in Eph. 1:20-21, “when he raised [Jesus] from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named.”

Christ’s death on the Cross becomes the apparent defeat by God’s enemies, led by angelic principalities and powers. But it turns around and becomes a disarming of those spiritual powers and the beginning of his triumph over them (Col. 2:15). In this view, Christ goes down into Sheol (in his spirit or later, in his resurrected body) to make a proclamation to the original minions of evil, now held captive. After he raises from the dead, he ascends into heaven to be coronated as king over all authority and powers of heaven and earth (Eph. 1:20-21). And that victory over spiritual powers brings us to the next element of 1 Peter 3:18-22.

What was the Proclamation?

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