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Were the "Angels' that visited Joseph Smith Nephilim?

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by ben d, Feb 10, 2008.

  1. ben d

    ben d Being

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    It recently occured to me that since the LDS believe that the Nephites had originally came to America from the biblical lands, there should be some similarity between names from the Book of Mormon and the Bible. The similarity of Nephi and Nephilim came to mind so I googled it and lo!....the following came up.

    THE ETYMOLOGY OF NEPHI AND NEPHILIM
    One of the claims of this site is that there is a direct link between the Mormon "Nephi" and the "Nephilim" (wrongly translated as "giants" in the KJV) in Genesis 6 which states that rebellious angels came to the earth, married the daughters of men, and created a race of "nephilim". So corrupt did the earth become not only morally but genetically that Yahweh was forced to intervene and destroy the anti-Diluvian culture with a universal flood.
    Not unsurprisingly we have received alot of angry letters from Mormons claiming that we are ignorant of Hebrew and that there is no relationship between "Nephi" and "Nephilim". The typical argument runs something like this:
    I read the article. Being a fluent speaker of Hebrew, I hate to burst the author's bubble, but there are two mistakes. Nephelim (plural of nephel) means "rejects" and not giants. Also, plurals in Hebrew are designated by "im" if masculine, and "ot" if feminine. The Hebrew plural for Nephites would be "Nephi'im" and not "nephelim".

    Interestingly, other fluent Hebrew speakers take a different view. A Bible scholar and Israeli, who has some knowledge of Mormonism, wrote the following to me:
    'Nephilim' means "fallen ones" or "fellers [of men]" (i.e., those who cause men to fall).
    "Nephi" would also be "a feller of men" (men are symbolized as trees in scripture). Recall how he made Laban and Lemuel fall with "the power of God". Hebrew names are often characteristic of the person possessing the name.
    Regarding 'plurals': With Hebrew one little letter often does little to change the meaning of the word. "Nephil" or "Nephi" could easily mean the same thing.

    Thus the plural of 'Nephi/Nephil' could as well be 'Nephim', 'Nephi'im', 'Nephiyim' / 'Nephilim', &c.
    The only other instance where 'Nephi' appears in antiquity is in a mistranslation of the Greek 'nephthai' which translates our English, 'naptha', an error of the KJV translators of 2 Maccabees 1:36. Some critics of Mormonism allege that Joseph Smith borrowed the word 'Nephi' from here, the text reading:
    And Neemias called this thing Naphthar, which is as much to say, a cleansing: but many men call it Nephi (2 Macc.1:36, KJV)

    Since Mormons have never satisfactority proposed an etymology of 'Nephi' (other than to propose parallels with the young Egyptian pagan corn god, 'Nepi' or 'Nepri' [Hugh B. Nibley, Mormon scholar] - not a very likely choice for a son's name by a supposedly devout Hebrew, Lehi) I believe the Nephi/Nephilim connection proposed by the New Covenant Church of God is the strongest one. Names throughout history are known to expand and contract as, for example, 'Jehoshua' to 'Joshua'.
    Thus it is by no means unreasonable or inconceivable that 'Nephi' and 'Nephil' are but variants of the same name, with 'Nephi'im', 'Nephim' or 'Nephilim' being possible plurals.

    Sorry, but as a newbie, I can't post URL links yet, please PM me if you would like them.
     
  2. Sola'lor

    Sola'lor LDSUJC

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    Well both the names Lehi and Laman appear in the Bible. I don't see a problem with Nephi's name coming from some native source words. Of course we should also consider that Nephi wasn't actually Nephi's name but a version for use in English. For example Adam in Tagalog is Adan. Nephi is Nefi. Noah is Noe.
     
  3. Smoke

    Smoke Done here.

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    Then there were no Nephil survivors, so how could any of them have visited Joseph Smith?
     
  4. david01

    david01 New Member

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    Actually, the truth of the matter is that nobody visited Mr. Smith. As with his other writings, there is absolutely no means of verification and when such attempts are made, as in the recent DNA testing, the results disprove purported claims. Thus, there is every reason to believe that this is just another work of fiction by Mr. Smith,
     
    Melissa G likes this.
  5. ben d

    ben d Being

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    MidnightBlue said
    Now please don't suppose that I believe this as real, but I find it interesting enough to investigate further. So my answer to you is at this stage is to suggesi that it was because the Nephilim were semi-devine beings,...fallen angels (have you read apocryphal Book of Enoch?) and could survive beyond the flood., and it was only their hybrid mortal offspring were wiped out.
    Remember also that Jesus said that at the end of the age, once again it will be like the days of Noah. That implies that the Nephilim either survived the flood or they return to interfere with the affairs of man once again.
     
  6. Smoke

    Smoke Done here.

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    The Nephilim were not the angels, but their offspring.

    No, it doesn't. Jesus explained exactly what he meant by that:
    But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come​
     
  7. Bishka

    Bishka New Member

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    So what do you believe in?
     
  8. ben d

    ben d Being

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    MidnightBlue said
    According to my reading of the Book of Enoch, these beings were fallen angels, but as I mentioned, I am not an authority on these matters, but a student. Whether the Sons of God of the Bible are Angels or Nephilim, or the Nephilim the offspring of Angels,I don't know,.. there doesn't seem to be an absolute consensus.


    It is my understanding that after the Nephilim had mated with the daughters of man that the world fell into sinful ways, and so...the flood, to begin anew with Noah and family. If this is a valid aspect of the conditions that lead to the flood, then by implication it could also be relevant to the conditions (as in the days of Noah) that lead to the Second Coming.
    I think that these days now are probably every bit as bad as 'in the days of Noah', but why has the world fallen so far so fast? Is it possible that it is not mere mortal opposition (materialism, atheism, etc.,) that present day disciples need to contend with in their spiritual aspiration, but dark spiritual forces that have been released for this very time period.
     
  9. ben d

    ben d Being

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    Bishka said
    Originally Posted by david01 [​IMG]
    Actually, the truth of the matter is that nobody visited Mr. Smith. As with his other writings, there is absolutely no means of verification and when such attempts are made, as in the recent DNA testing, the results disprove purported claims. Thus, there is every reason to believe that this is just another work of fiction by Mr. Smith,

    So what do you believe in?

    Hi Bishka,
    As I have stated elsewhere, I am a student. Accordingly I do not yet have the understanding and therefore try to suspend the temptation to reach a conclusion before all the evidence is in and duly contemplated through rigorous intuition.
    In reality I can't yet say that I understand much at all, but that is OK.
    As for those who are content that they already know, that is OK.too.
     
  10. Sola'lor

    Sola'lor LDSUJC

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    Well I respect your opinion. However I have recieved a witness from the Holy Spririt that Joseph Smith was a true Prophet of God and those things he revealled are true.

    Dispite the thread about DNA vs the Book of Mormon I still haven't seen any DNA evidence that disproves the Book of Mormon. Of course any continuation of this discussion should be carried out in that thread rather than take this thread off topic.
     
  11. Smoke

    Smoke Done here.

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    19,902
    Why do you think it has?

    No one needs to fear the darkness outside if he has faced the darkness within.
     
  12. ben d

    ben d Being

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  13. Sola'lor

    Sola'lor LDSUJC

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  14. Sola'lor

    Sola'lor LDSUJC

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    I have also read the Book of Enoch. I believe those angels spoken of were not actually angels but spiritual or priesthoof leaders. The Dead Sea Scroll Book of Enoch supports this idea.

    Dead Sea Scrolls -- Enoch

    13. [They (the leaders) and all ... of them took
    for themselves]
    14. wives from all that they chose and
    [they began to cohabit with them and to defile
    themselves with them];
    15. and to teach them sorcery and [spells and
    the cutting of roots; and to acquaint them
    with herbs.]
    16. And they become pregnant by them and
    bo[re (great) giants three thousand cubits high ...]
    Transcription by J. T. Milik, amended by J. C. Greenfield; translation by J. C. Greenfield
     
  15. w00t

    w00t New Member

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    Maybe Smith was on something at the time of his visitation!:D
     
  16. Bishka

    Bishka New Member

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    And maybe he wasn't.

    Does it really matter all that much to you?
     
  17. Sola'lor

    Sola'lor LDSUJC

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    I thought w00t said:
    Maybe Smith was on to something at the time of his visitation!

    It didn't make sense until I just now realized there wasn't a 'to' in the original statement.
     
  18. w00t

    w00t New Member

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    Not really!:p
     
  19. ben d

    ben d Being

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    MidnightBlue said
    Why do you think it has?

    Ben D obediently answers his own rhetorical question
    Because humanity at large is deceived by the lies being woven into a virtual reality delivered to them through the technological, and psychological wizardry of the present age.

    No one needs to fear the darkness outside if he has faced the darkness within.

    True, and disciples are being tested....'many are called but few are chosen'.
     
  20. ben d

    ben d Being

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    Yes, there is much written concerning the offspring of the fallen Angels.
    MidnightBlue is maintaining that the flood removed all such beings , and maybe so at that time, but that does not preclude a repetition of these events. Of course there are other possibilities but I will refrain from going there for obvious reasons.
    It is my understanding that even now, the royal families and aristocracy of the world trace their linage to the earlier divine rulers. Who are these earthly rulers who claimed rule by divine right. Does scripture explain with clarity how it is that they were so much more than the mere mortals they ruled?
    Humanity at large believe in the meme that all men are born equal, sounds nice but it is not scriptural and could't be further from the truth.
    So many questions and so few answers...sigh!

    BTW, this did pass through my mind concerning the other tribe, the Lamanites, there are some possible tenuous connections with Tibet. Their ancient Bon religion that predates buddhism is shamanistic and is similar to the American native tradition, particularly as it applies to sickness and healing.
    Lama is the name for a spiritual leader and presumably under the Bon, meant the same as Shaman.
    And maybe,...just a thought, since Tibetans look quite oriental in appearance, a DNA connection with northern Asians ...
     
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