Term Paper: Sons of God in Genesis

Pages: 8 (3033 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1+  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Mythology - Religion  ·  Buy This Paper

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[. . .] As the translations of the word son have shown, there are many meanings attributed to the word, but nowhere in the Bible is there any reference to a consort for God, and so, these "sons" must be human, placed on Earth by God to do his work, but not "of" God in the physical sense. However, in several references, the Catholics uphold the belief that the "Sons of God" are the angels - his messengers on Earth with their home in the heavens. These are not the views of all, however, and most modern translators and experts believe that the "Sons of God" enjoy a special relationship with the Creator, but are human in all form and action.

In addition, Chapter 112 of Psalms seems to carry out this humanistic theme. In these 10 verses, God lays out the punishment for the wicked, while also noting the goodness that will come to those who live life according to his word. The King James Version states, "His seed shall be might upon earth: the generation of the upright shall be blessed" ("Holy Bible" 476). Thus, the "sons" of God shall reap the rewards of his favor, while the wicked shall "see it, and be grieved; he shall gnash with his teeth and melt away: the desire of the wicked shall perish" ("Holy Bible" 476). Thus, the Sons of God who carry his message will be rewarded, and the wicked shall disappear. The Sons of God remain on the Earth to do his bidding even today, for they are the descendents of these good workers, rather than the wicked.

More modern research into the Bible looks at many stories as myths passed down from generation to generation much like folktales, until they were finally recorded in written form. Nowhere is this theory more evident than in the "Sons of God" references sprinkled throughout the Bible. These larger than life men represent the true meaning of the word "hero," and represent a bridge between the spiritual and real worlds. One historian notes, "They display a wonderful variety of the semi-divine, the miraculous and the wondrous, with an ever-recurring theme of divine presence in the world of humans" (Thompson 323). Thompson continues that this motif of the "Sons of God" is quite prevalent throughout the Bible, and quite "coherent" and cohesive throughout the narrative (Thompson 324). In fact, Thompson references Greek and near Eastern mythology in the Genesis 6 reference to the Sons of God. His translation of the event reads,

And so it was that when humanity began to spread itself out over the world, daughters were born. The sons of God saw that the women were beautiful and they married them, every one that they desired. So Yahweh declared: "My spirit will not reside in people forever. After all, they are only flesh and their life-span but 120 years" (Thompson 325).

This translation is far different from the King James Version, and although it conveys the same basic ideas, it is easy to see how these differing translations can lead to far different views about God and his messengers on Earth.

In the Book of Job, there are several references to the "Sons of God," and among them is Satan. "Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them" ("Holy Bible" 410). Knowing that Satan was eventually cast out of Heaven, and that Satan was originally an angel, then one would ascertain from this passage that Satan and the other Sons of God were angels. However, angels who fall from grace obviously have human qualities, and as such, cannot be true "Sons of God," for the true Son of God would surely attain the ultimate grace, and live only to represent his Father, as Jesus did. Jesus was without sin. As one writer notes, "He exercised divine authority, knew the future as well as the inner thoughts of men's hearts, lived a sinless life, remained changeless in His love, justice and righteousness, and performed miracles by the power of His own will" (Massey). Thus, the true Son of God, or "son of man," as he is often referred to, could not fall from grace. Jesus was a man, and so were the Sons of God. Thus, Satan could fall from grace, as he was human, rather than divine. Another writer notes, "That angels of God and sons of God are commonly interchangeable in the Bible's songs and stories is based on the function of angels and messengers of the divine: they reflect God's presence" (Thompson 353). This is simply more proof that the Sons of God are mortal, human, and enjoy God's grace, but not his actual parentage.

As far back as the writings of St. Augustine in the Third Century, writers have grappled with the problem of the semantics of the Sons of God. St. Augustine wrote,

For they were both sons of God, and thus brothers of their own fathers, who were children of the same God; and they were sons of gods, because begotten by gods, together with whom they themselves also were gods, according to that expression of the psalm: "I have said, Ye are gods, and all of you are children of the Most High" (Augustine 513)

He reaches the same conclusion that scholars and theologians have reached for centuries, that while "sons" may mean the actual offspring of God, it is much more likely that these sons were human, and the meaning of their relationship is the true meaning of the word.

In addition, another of the myths connected to the Sons of God, according to Thompson, is Israel. God appoints his "Sons" to watch over areas of his domain, and he appoints Yahweh as the guardian of Israel. Thus, his messenger is sent to watch over the Jews in Israel. This again reiterates the idea that God's sons are his messengers and his spiritual representatives. If he sends them to watch over the kingdoms of Earth, they represent his thoughts and his wisdom to the people.

All of these arguments clearly indicate there is an important and valuable relationship between humankind and the divine. Experts, historians, and theologians all recognize it, and the many references to it in the Holy Bible. However, even more importantly, God's people recognize it. Those who believe in the Word of God, and spread his message understand the special relationship they have with the Almighty, and they cherish it. God spoke of humanity as his children, and urged us to live with his presence in our lives. This recognizes that all of us can be the Sons of God if we choose to be. We all have the capabilities, and we all have the spirit. Only the strongest of God's children can live up to these demands, and that is why there are not more Sons of God mentioned in the Bible than there are, and that is why there are so few true Sons of God remaining today. The Sons of God in the Bible were God's chosen few, and they were God's messengers, who carried his words everywhere, to any who would listen. The Sons of God were not God's true progeny, but they were his true spiritual leaders, who shared a common bond with the Almighty, and wanted others to understand and reach that same relationship. They were certainly special, but they were not actual "sons." They were living, breathing human beings, with the sins and failings of man. Some of them ultimately failed in their mission to God, such as Satan did. However, the Sons of God live on today, and continue to create discussion and understanding among us here on Earth.

In conclusion, it is quite clear from research, study, and conclusion that the Sons of God were not his actual sons, but humans on Earth sent her to further God's purpose and message. It seems they were at first a race of giants who married some of the best women, but disappeared after the Great Flood. As the many interpretations of the Holy Bible show, words can mean many things to different people, and can be construed many ways. God did not have a mortal wife or consort, He is above such things, and so, he could not actually have fathered earthly sons. He could however, choose those he felt best represented them, and develop an important and spiritual relationship with them, so they could in turn spread his Word among humankind. These messengers were, and still are, the true Sons of God, and will continue to be throughout time.

References

Augustine, Saint. The City of God. Trans. Dods, Marcus D.D. New York: Modern Library, 1950.

Bird, T.E. "The Psalms." A Catholic Commentary on Holy Scripture. Ed. Orchard, Bernard. New York: Nelson, 1953. 442-473.

Jastrow, Morris. The Book of Job: Its Origin, Growth and Interpretation. Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott Company, 1920.… [END OF PREVIEW]

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