Scholarly Research

Chronicles of the  Nephilim

FREE first chapters of each Chronicle of the Nephilim

(To download right-click on link and choose “save linked file as”)

Download for FREE the first chapters of Noah Primeval.
Download for FREE the first chapters of Enoch Primordial.
Download for FREE the first chapters of Gilgamesh Immortal.
Download for FREE the first chapters of Abraham Allegiant.
Download for FREE the first chapters of Joshua Valiant.
Download for FREE the first chapters of Caleb Vigilant.
Download for FREE the first chapters of David Ascendant.

Radio Drama of a chapter from Noah Primeval on the Untold Podcast

Listen for FREE to an 18 minute dramatic audio recreation

ESSAYS AND ARTICLES by Brian Godawa

An Apologetic of Horror

Retelling Biblical Stories for a Modern Audience

Darren Aronofsky’s Noah: Environmentalist Wacko

More on Darren Aronofsky’s Noah
A series of blog posts analyzing and deconstructing the movie

Ridley Scott’s Exodus: Gods and Kings: A Schizophrenic and Barbaric Yahweh
A series of blog posts analyzing and deconstructing the movie.

Thus Spake Godawa

The following articles by me are no longer available here.
You can find them, along with others, in my new book,
Myth Became Fact: Storytelling, Imagination, & Apologetics in the Bible:
(Available on Amazon)

Biblical Creation And Storytelling: Cosmogony, Combat and Covenant
Old Testament Storytelling Apologetics
Acts 17: Storytelling as Subversive Apologetics
The Mesopotamian Cosmography in the Bible

SCHOLARLY ESSAYS AND ARTICLES

on the Primeval History and other material
in the Chronicles of the Nephilim

The inclusion of articles on this website is not necessarily an endorsement of every idea presented. I include interesting and relevent articles for the purpose of challenging us to THINK through our own ideas with an honest humility of our own limited knowledge and a willingness to thoughtfully and respectfully listen to viewpoints other than our own. Maybe, just maybe we don’t know everything, and there is some truth even in the positions of those with whom we disagree.

Early Chapters of Genesis

Because it Had Rained: A Study of Genesis 2:5-7
Mark D. Futado (Westminster Theological Journal)
Makes the argument that there was rain before the flood.

The Firmament and the Water Above: Part I: The Meaning of raqia in Gen 1:6-8
By Paul Seely (Westminster Theological Journal)

The Firmament and the Water Above: Part II: The Meaning of “The Water above the Firmament” in Gen 1:6-8
By Paul H. Seely

The Geographical Meaning of “Earth” and “Seas” in Genesis 1:10
By Paul H. Seely (Westminster Theological Journal)

Sanctuary Symbolism in the Garden of Eden Story
By Gordon Wenham
Introduces the reader to understanding the Eden story in light of symbolic temple dedication.

The Skull Crushing Seed of the Woman: Inner-Biblical Interpretation of Genesis 3:15
James Hamilton
This article addresses the protoevangelium, the prophecy of the seed of the serpent at war with the seed of the woman.

The Atrahasis Epic and its Signficance for our Understanding of Genesis 1-9
Tikva Frymer-Kensky
The Babylonian epic of Atrahasis has enormous importance for understanding the great cosmologici cycle of Genesis 1-9, for it enables us to appreciate the major themes of this cycle from a new perspective.

Giants, Nephilim, and the Sons of God

Divine Council Definition
Michael S. Heiser PhD
A good basic intro to the Divine Council of the Sons of God.

The Ancient Exegesis of Genesis 6:2, 4
Robert C. Newman (Grace Theological Journal)
Interpretation of the Sons of God and Nephilim in history.

Here is an updated chart of the ancient views presented in the above paper, with links to the original sources. By Ken Ammi.

The Meaning of the Word Nephilim: Fact Vs. Fantasy
Michael S. Heiser PhD, Hebrew Bible and Ancient Semitic Languages
The Nephilim in the Bible are giants, dude, they really are giants.

Deuteronomy 32:8 and the Sons of God
Michael S. Heiser PhD, Hebrew Bible and Ancient Semitic Languages
An amazing explanation of the Divine Council and how the Sons of God are alotted territories by God to rule over.

The Sons of God in Gen 6.1-4: An Example of Evangelical Demythologization
Willem A. Van Gemeren (Westminster Journal).
A good summary of the views with critiques, and a defense of the supernatural interpretation

Giants in Ancient Warfare
Adrienne Mayor (The Quarterly Journal of Military History)
An historical article covering the Biblical period and into the Roman period and beyond.

The Covenant Lawsuit in the Prophets
Herbert Huffmon
Examines the legal process of bringing a lawsuit before the Divine Council of God.

The Council of Yahweh
Wheeler Robinson
Introduction to the operations of the Divine Council in the Bible.

God and the Gods in Assembly: An Interpretation of Psalm 82
Maititiahu Tsevat
The gods in Psalm 82 are definitely supernatural Sons of God, NOT human rulers or judges.

Giants in Other Ancient Texts
A listing and translation of specific references compiled by Brian Godawa

The Book of 1 Enoch

The Book of Enoch: Scripture, Heresy, or What?
Brian Godawa
This is my own personal contribution to the study of 1Enoch. A very basic introduction to the ancient text and its merits and shortcomings. The Church has historically given it much respect, and the New Testament quotes and paraphrases it, so believers are obligated not to discard it, but find out what all the fuss is about. You won’t be sorry you did.

The Book of Enoch (Book of the Watchers, Chapters 1-36)
The translated text.

Was the Book of Enoch studied by New Testament Authors?
By Jeremy Kapp
This is a simple straightforward article chronicling many similarities of language between the New Testament and the book of 1 Enoch illustrating an influence of the latter upon inspired authors.

1 Enoch in Early Christian Literature
James C. VanderKam
A scholarly survey of all the early church father’s and others’ references to 1 Enoch, and how most of them are favorable.

The Book of Enoch in Reference to the New Testament and Early Christian Antiquity
Henry Hayman
Examines the intertextual influence of 1 Enoch on the New Testament writers and how the Church has interpreted it.

1 Enoch Among Jews and Christians a Fringe Connection
Lawrence VanBeek
An excellent summary of how the ancient Jews and Christian considered 1 Enoch as authoritative.

Angels Under Reserve in 2 Peter and Jude
J. Daryl Charles
An exploration that includes how the book of Enoch may have been used in these New Testament Scriptures.

The Use of Tradition Material in the Epistle of Jude
J. Daryl Charles
An exploration that includes how the book of Enoch may have been used in these New Testament Scriptures.

“The Lord Will Come with His Holy Myriads” An Investigation of the Linguistic Source of the Citation of 1 Enoch 1,9 in Jude 14b–15
Some Christians try to deny the fact that Jude quotes from the Book of 1 Enoch by the ad hoc argument that Jude is actually quoting a common source that Enoch also used. Really? No way. This article shows that Jude IS quoting 1 Enoch.

The Flood

The Coherence of the Flood Narrative
Gordon Wenham
An excellent introduction to the poetic structure, Mesopotamian background, and reliability of the text.

Biblical Defense for a Global Flood
Biblical Evidence for the Universality of the Genesis Flood

Richard M. Davidson

Biblical Defense for a Local Flood
The Genesis Flood: Why the Bible says it Must Be Local

Richard Deem

Biblical Defense for a Covenantal Flood
Integrating Covenant Creation and Noah’s Flood in Prophetic Context

Tim Martin (2 Podcasts, not articles)

Noah’s Nakedness and the Curse on Canaan
John Bergsma and Scott Hahn
A great scholarly argument for Ham’s sin against Noah’s nakedness as a metaphor for maternal incest.

The Atrahasis Epic and its Signficance for our Understanding of Genesis 1-9
Tikva Frymer-Kensky
The Babylonian epic of Atrahasis has enormous importance for understanding the great cosmologici cycle of Genesis 1-9, for it enables us to appreciate the major themes of this cycle from a new perspective.

Assorted Divine Beings in the Bible

Cherubim
William F. Albright
Classic short article that reveals the Sphynx-like nature of the Biblical Cherubim.

The Cherubim’s “Flame of the Whirling Sword”
Ronald Hendel
The original Hebrew of this strange accompanying object of the Edenic Cherub may be a secondary divine being.

Seraphim
Karen Joines
Describes the ancient Near Eastern context of Biblical Seraphim and finds the nearest equivalent in the Egyptian ureus.

Lilith
Raphael Patai
A scholarly analysis of the mythology of Lilith through history and in Jewish and pagan text.

The Downfall of Helel the Son of Dawn in Isaiah 14:12-13
Matthais Albani
A scholarly look at the “Fall of Satan” myth that some believe is referenced in Isaiah 14. It’s not there.

The Mythological Provenance of Isaiah 14:12-15: A Reconsideration of the Ugaritic Material
Michael S. Heiser
A scholarly look at the “Fall of Satan” myth as a polemic against Ugaritic Canaanite mythology.

Ezekiel 28 and the Fall of the First Man
Norman C. Habel
Another passage commonly thought to be about the fall of Satan is NOT about that at all. See just what it is about.

Gilgamesh Immortal

The Epic of Gilgamesh
Translated by Maureen Kovacs
This is the actual text of the epic translated online. This website has other helpful translations of Gilgamesh as well.

Gilgamesh and Genesis: The Flood Story in Context
Eugene Fischer
An excellent comparison and contrast of Genesis with Gilgamesh that sheds scholarly light on the Flood story and Genesis.

The Gilgamesh Traditions and the Pre-History of Genesis 6:1-4
David Melvin
Another Excellent analysis of the context of Genesis 6, the giants, Watchers, Enoch and Primeval Heroes.

Noah’s Nakedness and the Curse on Canaan
John Bergsma and Scott Hahn
A great scholarly argument for Ham’s sin against Noah’s nakedness as a metaphor for maternal incest.

Abraham Allegiant, Babel & Nimrod

Nimrod Before and After the Bible
K. van der Toorn and P. W. van der Horstt
One of the most thorough articles discussing the many opinions of the identity of Nimrod in history.

Who Was Nimrod?
W.H. Gispen
This is a short book chapter that makes an argument for the premise in Babel Inheritance.

The Book of Jasher
Online translation at the Sacred Texts Archive. This is one of the ancient books that tells the story of Abram meeting Nimrod. Their story begins in chapter 7. Some claim that this is a Medieval copy of the text that the Bible used as historical reference in several places (Joshua 10:13; 2 Samuel 1:18).

The Story of Abraham and Nimrod
Legends of the Jews by Louis Ginzberg online
Online text from the Sacred Texts Archive. This is another document that refers to the ancient Jewish legend that Abraham interacted with Nimrod.

The Religion of the Patriarchs
Gordon Wenham
A chapter from the book Essays on the Patriarchal Narratives, edited by Millard and Wiseman. This is a scholarly article that explains the various uses of the names of God in the Genesis texts that also show up in Chronicles of the Nephilim in different time periods.Of particular interest is Exodus 6:3 that says “I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, as El Shaddai, but by my name the Yahweh I did not make myself known to them.” What the…?” It’s a bit academic, but have patience.

Joshua and Caleb

The Killing of the Canaanites: Indiscriminate Massacre and Ethnic Cleansing?
Paul Copan
This is a chapter from the book Is God a Moral Monster? by Paul Copan, Baker Books. It explains in a very intelligent and reasonable way the extreme rhetoric of the book of Joshua.

Implications and Entailments of Joshua’s Ancient Conquest Account
K. Lawson Younger, Jr.
This is a chapter from Ancient Conquest Accounts: A Study in Ancient Near Eastern and Biblical History Writing. It is a more academic address of Joshua’s extreme rhetoric.

War in the Hebrew Bible: An Overview
Richard Hess
Hess gives an overview of the various kinds of war and their proper contexts. He addresses the oversimplification of sweeping statements about “holy war” in the Bible with a measured hand.

Jericho and Ai of the Book of Joshua
Richard Hess
Hess examines the biblical text about these two infamous cities in light of archeological claims that they were not occupied during the Conquest.

Joshua 10:12-15 and Mesopotamian Celestial Omen Texts
John Walton
Walton explains the Ancient Near Eastern understanding of the phraseology used in Joshua about the sun and moon “standing still.” This is not about supporting or denying a miracle, it is about understanding what God intended to say, not what we want him to say.

A Defense Of The Hyperbolic Interpretation Of Large Numbers In The Old Testament
David M. Fouts
This is the first of three articles here proposing different ways to interpret the unreasonably high census numbers for Israel and her army during the Exodus and Conquest. Fouts argues that the numbers are clearly symbolic, and addresses all the options, but takes no stance.

Large Numbers in the Old Testament
J. W. Wenham
This is the second of three articles here proposing different ways to interpret the unreasonably high census numbers for Israel and her army during the Exodus and Conquest. Wenham argues that the Hebrew word for “thousand” should be interpreted as collective social units such as “military units” or “clans.”

The Number Of People In The Exodus From Egypt
Colin J. Humphreys
This is the third of three articles here proposing different ways to interpret the unreasonably high census numbers for Israel and her army during the Exodus and Conquest. Wenham argues that the Hebrew word for “thousand” should be interpreted as collective “troop” units.

Universality of Serpent Worship
W.G. Moorehead
Moorehead surveys the worldwide presence of serpent worship, including that in Canaan.

The Day of Atonement in Leviticus 16: A Goat for Azazel
Michael S. Heiser
This is a scholarly explanation of why Azazel, the name for the lead fallen Watcher from the Book of Enoch, is named in the Old Testament code of sacrifices. Yep, it’s the reason why I have this in Joshua Valiant and Caleb Vigilant.

David Ascendant

Clash of the Manuscripts: Goliath & the Hebrew Text of the Old Testament
Michael S. Heiser
An explanation about the problematic passage in 2 Sam. 21:19 that appears to say that a man named Elhanon killed Goliath, as opposed to David.

The yelîdê hārāpā’: A Cultic Association of Warriors
Conrad E. L’Heureux
Yalid ha Rapha. An explanation of the phrase “descendant of the giants” in 2 Sam 21:15-22/1 Chr 20:4-8 as a possible reference to an ancient military cult of devotion to a war god.

Goliath’s Javelin
Yigael Yadin
The description of Goliath’s javelin being like a “weaver’s beam” was not a reference to its size but to its unique nature as a special kind of weapon.

Reconsidering the Height of Goliath
Daniel Hays
This article argues for textual problems with the height of Goliath. He makes a reputable argument for Goliath being about 6 foot 9, but concludes it is still very large and frightening, for that time and place. In the interest of fair play discussion, I have included this one along with the article below it which supports the argument that Goliath was 9 foot 9 inches tall.

Goliath and the Exodus Giants: How Tall Were They?
Clyde Billington
Billington argues against Hay’s claim above that Goliath was only 6 foot 9. He supports the traditional Masoretic Text that has Goliath at about 9 foot 9. And he gives some interesting explanations for the textual variants that exist. In fact, there is some possibility that it might be closer to 10 1/2 feet tall. Read it and find out why!

Evaluating King David: Old Problems and Recent Scholarship
David A. Bosworth
This is an excellent balanced analysis of the two sides of typical David scholarship. These days, the ideologically motivated prejudice of modern critical theory paints a picture of David as a murdering terrorist tyrant. The traditional view tends to paint a biased picture of David as a bit too pietistic. Bosworth examines both sides and comes to a more balanced and more realistic human picture of David in the Bible. This is very much how I saw David in my novel.

David’s Elite Warriors and Their Exploits in the Books of Samuel and Chronicles
Moshe Garsiel
This is a detailed look at the “Mighty Men” Gibborim of David, some of whom killed the giants who were after David.

Second Millenium Antecedents to the Hebrew Ob (Ôb)
Harry A. Hoffner, Jr.
I used this as research for my description of the necromantic ritual of the Witch (Ob) of Endor that Saul visited.

Jesus Triumphant

Religion, Society, and Sacred Space at Banias:A Religious History of Banias/Caesarea Philippi, 21 BC-AD 1635
Judd H. Burton
This is a dissertation, so it is thick, but very rewarding if you really want to understand how very important Jesus’ visit to Caesarea Philippi (Banias/Panias) really was. It was a spiritual stronghold in Israel.

Podcast on Banias/Panias/Caesarea Philippi
Judd Burton
This is a 2-hour podcast where scholar Judd Burton discusses the dissertation material above on The Flood, Nephilim, Book of Enoch, Watchers, Banias/Panias, Caesarea Philippi, and Jesus.

The Old Testament Background for Paul’s Use of the “Principalities and Powers.”
Ronn Johnson
This is another dissertation, so it is quite scholarly detailed. Which is a good thing because he proves that the principalties and powers of this present darkness are the very same spiritual territorial “princes” that Daniel wrote about and that Deuteronomy 32 said were the gods of the nations. The concept evolved somewhat between the Testaments, and this is a great explanation for it all.

GEHENNA: The Topography of Hell
Lloyd R. Bailey
This is a great introduction to understanding the New Testament usage of Gehenna, which is not what we normally think of Hell as being.

“By Three Days, Live”: Messiahs, Resurrection, and Ascent to Heaven in Hazon Gabriel
Israel Knohl
A fascinating look at the extra-biblical ancient stone that has much in common with the prophet Daniel and Christian interpretation of the resurrection of Christ. Knohl thinks this text referred to a revolutionary named Simon and that Jesus ripped off the “suffering servant” motif. But if if Daniel actually predicts Jesus, then the true rip-off goes in the other direction.

Magic in the Biblical World
Edwim Yamauchi
An introduction to the magic worldview in the New Testament as presented in Jesus Triumphant.

Jesus and the Spirits: What Can We Learn from the New Testament World?
Craig Evans
A great introduction to the nature of demons in the New Testament and exorcism.

The Demonology of the New Testament
F. C. Conybeare
More on the nature of exorcism and the theological purpose of Jesus.

The Sleeping God: An Ancient Near Eastern Motif of Divine Sovereignty
Bernard Batto
This is a fascinating article that will explain what was theologically going on when Jesus walked on water and calmed the storm. It is exactly the meaning that I used in Jesus Triumphant. You have to read a bunch of stuff about the Ancient Near East for the first two thirds of the article, before you get to the Jesus part. But be patient and read it all, because it will all make sense if you do.

Naming the Powers, The Language of Power in the New Testament
Walter Wink
These are the first two chapters of Wink’s book about the principalities and the powers. It explains the nature of spiritual powers and their authority over nations.

Commentary Clippings on 1Peter 3:18-21 (Jesus’ Descent into Hades)
These are a variety of scholarly commentaries addressing Jesus’ descent into Hades. I don’t necessarily agree with everything here. But they are helpful in understanding the issues.

“He Descended into Hell” An Interpretation of 1 Peter 3:18-20
Martin H. Scharlemann

The Suffering and Triumphant Christ: An Exposition of 1 Peter 3:18-22
Edmond Hiebert

A Handbook on the First Letter from Peter (1Peter 3:18-21)
Daniel Arichea

The New American Commentary (1Peter 3:18-21)
Thomas Schreiner

The New International Commentary on the New Testament (1Peter 3:18-21)
Peter Davids

“Descent to the Underworld”
Anchor Bible Dictionary
Richard Bauckham

Images of Christ
Ken Gentry
This is for my Reformed brothers and sisters who are concerned about my use of visual images of Jesus in the advertising of “Jesus Triumphant.” Ken is a Reformed theologian and he defends the use of images of Jesus, so long as they are not used in worship. This is my view as well.

Images of Christ Revisited
Ken Gentry
This is a fantastic follow up article that answers a Reformed challenge to Gentry’s original thesis of acceptable visual pictures of Jesus. Gentry answers it with his usual brilliant and well written exegesis and prose. In short, the Bible does not condemn making of images of Jesus, but making of images of Jesus in order to worship them. Artistic representations are not the same as worship. And even great Reformed authors AND the Westminster Confession make this qualifier of worship as what is condemned.

RECOMMENDED BOOKS

Nephilim Giants and the Sons of God

The Unseen Realm
Michael S. Heiser
If you read only one book on the Nephilim and the Sons of God, THIS should be that book. It was this scholarship that first opened my eyes to the Divine Council, The Watchers and the Nephilim giants in the Bible.

Supernatural
Michael S. Heiser
This is the populist version of The Unseen Realm, edited to be more accessible to laymen and less “academic,” in its style. Same material, simpler edition.

Giants: Sons of the Gods
Douglas Van Dorn
This is an in depth introduction to giants in the Bible for the layman. It is very well researched and documented.

The Primeval History of Genesis 1-11

I Studied Inscriptions From Before the Flood
Eds. Richard Hess and David Tsumura
This is a collection of scholarly articles about the Primeval History. It addresses everything from Genesis 1 to the ancient Near Eastern background to Babel. They are a bit academic, but in depth.

Before Abraham Was
Isaac Kikawada and Arthur Quinn
A powerful defense of the reliability of the Primeval History with a sensitive appreciation for ancient Near Eastern context and the poetic nature of Hebrew writing.

Ancient Near Eastern Background of the Bible

Ancient Near Eastern Thought and the Old Testament
John H. Walton
This book opened up the door of my interest in the ancient Near Eastern background of Hebrew culture and the Bible. It is a GREAT introduction to many aspects that inspired me to look deeper into many different aspects that began to help explain the many strange cultural elements in the Old Testament that did not make much sense to me.

Genesis 1-3

Genesis Unbound
John Sailhamer
An intriguing thesis about reading Genesis as a symbolic reference to the Holy Land and its preparation for God’s people.

Adam As Israel
Seth D. Postell
A fascinating argument about Adam as a symbolic figure for Israel more than anything else.

The Lost World of Genesis One
John Walton
This is a great introduction to reading Genesis One as an ancient Near Eastern creation story that it is, rather than a modern scientific physics text.

In the Beginning… We Misunderstood
Johnny Miller and John Soden
This is an excellent simple and short introduction for the layman about reading Genesis One as an ancient Near Eastern creation story like it’s Egyptian, Canaanite and Babylonian influences illustrate.

Creation Texts in the Ancient Near East and in the Bible
Richard Clifford
An excellent introduction to other ancient creation stories and how they interact with the Bible both in similarity and difference.

WEBSITE LINKS

Michael S. Heiser and the Divine Council
Michael Heiser’s scholarship had major influence on my theological understanding that inspired me to write Chronicles of the Nephilim. This guy is the real deal when it comes to responsible erudite Biblical scholarship.

Paleobabble
Your antidote to cyber-twaddle and misguided research about the ancient world.

Jason Colavito
Jason debunks the ancient astronaut theory and ancient aliens theory that is offered by many, such as Zechariah Sitchin and Erich von Daniken, as a substitute for supernatural origins of the gods and their religions.

Ancient Aliens Debunked
A phenomenal website and free documentary debunking the Ancient Aliens program on the Fantasy Channel, I mean, the History Channel.