Saturday, March 10, 2018

Natural Law and Eternal Law

It is interesting that in our post-Modern culture, some actually deny the existence of Natural Law, looking upon the concept as a mere historical oddity. Some modern philosophers and political activists will go so far as to suggest that one is a hopeless antiquarian to even bring the topic up, and thus should be ignored. No substitute exists, however, for Natural Law as a fundamental basis for a rational ethical system. The result of divorcing culture from Natural Law is that much of modern political thought is rendered dangerously destructive and without merit. Politics, without Natural Law, finds its ultimate expression in oppressive States, such as the former Soviet Union, Cuba, and other Leftist and "revolutionary" governments. This is so because, without Natural Law, morality is undermined, as its traditional determinants are removed. This permits the State to determine morality and ethics apart from Natural Law, not to mention Divine Revelation. Any socio-political philosophy that denies Natural Law, must also reject the principle that the human personality is a distinct entity, created by God, with certain dignities and duties, destined for an eternity with the Creator, making oppression a logical outcome.

Thomas Aquinas explains the essence of law:

Law is a rule and measure of acts, whereby man is induced to act, or is restrained from acting: for law is derived from “ligare”- to bind, because it binds one to act. ..Law is nothing else than an ordinance of reason for the common good, made by him who has care of the community, and promulgated.”

And regarding Natural Law, Aquinas defines it as,“...the rational creature's participation in the eternal law.”

Since, then, Natural Law is defined in terms of the Eternal Law, what is meant by Eternal Law?

Man cannot possibly know the Eternal Law in its totality because it is, essentially, the full mind of God. We can, however, know part of the Eternal Law through reason (Natural Law), and Divine Revelation (Sacred Scripture). 

Explaining Eternal Law, Aquinas writes:

Now God, by His wisdom, is the Creator of all things, in relation to which He stands as the artificer to the products of His art...Moreover He governs all the acts and movements that are to be found in each single creature...Wherefore as the type of the Divine Wisdom, inasmuch as by It all things are created, has the character of art, exemplar or idea; so the type of Divine Wisdom, as moving all things to their due end, bears the character of law. Accordingly the Eternal Law is nothing else than the type of Divine Wisdom, as directing all actions and movements...The whole community of the universe is governed by Divine Reason. Wherefore, the very idea of the government of things is God the Ruler of the universe, has the nature of law. And since the Divine Reason's conception of things is not subject to time, but is eternal...therefore it is that this kind of law must be called eternal. Every rational creature knows it (the Eternal Law), in its reflection, greater or less. For every knowledge of truth is a kind of reflection and participation of the Eternal Law which is unchangeable truth...Wherefore, since all things subject to Divine Providence are ruled and measured by the Eternal Law, it is evident that all things partake somewhat of the Eternal Law, in so far as, namely, from its being imprinted on them, they derive their respective inclinations to their proper acts and ends...Wherefore, it (the rational creature) has a share of the Eternal Reason, whereby it has a natural inclination to its proper act and end; and this participation of the Eternal Law in the rational creature is called the Natural Law.”

In other words, everything that exists- planets, stars, plants, animals, humanity- are a single kingdom under the governance of the Divine Lawgiver. Christ is King, because He is also Lord and God. But lordship is different than kingship, even in God. It is one thing to be lord and master, owner and proprietor of chattel, domain and property; it is another thing to be king, governor, lawgiver, and judge of political subjects. The former we can call the power of dominion, or of ownership, while the latter is power of jurisdiction. Power of dominion is for the good of the owner who wields it, while power of jurisdiction is for the good of the governed. As God is Lord of the universe, He directs all its operations to His own glory. As He is King, He governs as a King should govern, for the good of His subjects. In intellectual creatures, whose will is not set in opposition to God, the subject's good and the glory of the Lord coincide. God wills to bind His creatures to a certain line of action. Not arbitrary, but the natural lines of each creature's created being. The Eternal Law combines the laws of physical nature and the actions of physical causes, along with the moral law and human acts. It is the one primeval law of the universe, antecedent to all actual creation, and is as eternal as God. And yet, it is not as necessary as God, since if He had not decreed to create, He would have had no need to decree Eternal Law, contingent as its is upon creation and the decree that every creature should act in the mode of action proper to its kind.

We may define Eternal Law, then, as God's directive power over all things in existence, so that every created things moves, acts, and exists according to the nature that God has created in it. Man alone of all creatures in the world, is able to comprehend, through his reason, a part of the Eternal Law, which, as applicable to humanity, is the Natural Law. This Natural Law is essentially ethical and applies only to the acts of Man. Man's physical nature operates according to laws. Time produces changes in the human body, regardless of the thoughts or actions of the individual.

Friday, March 2, 2018

The Roman Heresy: Papal Claims of Universal Jurisdiction and Infallibility Critically Examined

Is there any truth to the claims of Roman Catholicism that papal infallibility and universal jurisdiction are proven from Sacred Scripture and the tradition of the early church? Let's take a look at the claims and the evidence. The entire premise of Roman Catholic claims of Papal universal authority and infallibility is based on the idea that the Apostle Peter held supreme, infallible authority in the early church, which he then passed on to his successor bishops of Rome. The basic argument of Roman apologists is usually one invoking Matthew 16:18, wherein Jesus tells Peter, "And I tell you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." This is the Scriptural basis for the basic claims of the papacy. What is ignored is the context in which these words were spoken. Previous to this statement, in Matthew 16:15-17, Christ asked his apostles,"But who do you say that I am?" Peter responds, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." Jesus then explains that this was not revealed to Peter by "flesh and blood", but by God. It is then that Jesus makes the comment regarding the "rock". Roman apologists argue that, since Peter is translated "rock", Jesus is referring to Peter as the Rock upon which He will build His church. If, however, one takes a more scholarly approach to the verses in question, something quite different is revealed.

The Koine Greek word translated "rock", and used of Peter here, is "petros." Petros is literally translated "little stone". However, when Jesus refers to the rock upon which he will build His church, the word changes to "petra"- a feminine gender word which, grammatically and contextually, cannot be used to refer to Peter. The context of these verses reveals that Jesus was speaking not of Peter himself as the rock upon which He would build His church, but upon Peter's testimony of Jesus as the Son of the living God. This is the rock upon which Jesus built His church! This understanding of the verses in question is also borne out by the Church Fathers. For example, Cyril, in his "Fourth Book on the Trinity", writes:

"I know that by Rock you must understand the unshakable faith of the apostles in Christ."

Hilary writes in his "Sixth Book on the Holy Trinity":

"The Rock is the blessed and only Rock of the faith which is confessed by the mouth of Peter: 'Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.'"

Hilary continues:

"It is on this Rock of confession of faith that the church is built."

John Chrysostom writes in his "Homilies":

"The Rock upon which Christ will build His church means the faith of confession."

It is clear, both from the evidence of the Scripture in question, as well as the witness of the Church Fathers, that the Roman claim is fallacious.

But what about Matthew 16:19? Roman Catholic apologists point to this verse as evidence for Peter's primacy and infallibility.

"I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."

Sure sounds like Peter has universal jurisdiction and infallibility. Or does it? Again, on closer examination we find this is not the case at all. All we have to do to refute this claim is turn to Matthew 18:18, where Jesus is speaking to all of the apostles, and says:

"Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."

Jesus repeats the "keys" statement, but not just to Peter this time. He clearly grants this authority to all of his apostles, removing any claims of Peter having universal jurisdiction or infallibility. 

Origen, in his "Homily on Matthew", writes:

"If we also say, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God, then we also become Peter...for whoever assimilates to Christ, becomes the Rock. Does Christ give the keys of the kingdom to Peter alone, whereas other blessed people cannot receive them?"

What Origen is getting at here is, when one confesses Christ, they are a "Rock" as well, and every such "rock" can receive the keys of the kingdom. In other words, this was not an authority granted to Peter alone, giving him universal jurisdiction and infallibility. And, interestingly enough, one finds no hint whatsoever of Peter claiming such authority. In fact, in the account of the Jerusalem Council in Acts 15:1-21, we find, not Peter, but James, the brother of Jesus, making the final determination in the matter of the Gentiles and observance of the Law. 

Church historian Oscar Cullman, in his book, "Peter: Disciple, Apostle, Martyr", writes:

"Peter played a significant role in the primitive church...however, as soon as a foundation of leadership is laid, Peter gives up this role. Another, James, will take over leadership in Jerusalem while Peter will concentrate entirely on his missionary work and will do so, indeed, in a subordinate role under James."

Eusebius, the esteemed early church historian, quoting Hegesippus, an eye witness to the events, writes:

"The brother of the Lord, James, took over leadership of the church with the apostles when control passed to them." (Ecclesiastical History, II, 23, 4)

Indeed, it seems from the biblical evidence that, rather than holding universal jurisdiction and infallibility, Peter was actually the "coryphaeus" (Gk.-"spokesman"), for the apostles, as in Mark 16:7. There is no hint of universal authority or infallibility in the Greek of this verse in Mark.

Hans von Camphausen, one of the most important ecclesiastical historians of the 20th century, writes in "Tradition and Life in the Church":

"Throughout the early period of the church there was only one authority which- beginning in the third century- raised the unheard of claim, on the basis of a supposed scriptural and irrefutable right, to be able to ascertain the truth with certainty, to expound and establish it, over and above anyone else. This was the Roman pontiff..."

Indeed, it was during the pontificates of Callistus (217-222), and Stephanus (254-257), that the bishops of Rome began making such absurd claims. Interestingly, the bishops who made such claims were clearly not free from theological error or false worship.
  • Callistus (221-227) was rightly condemned by Hippolytus for teaching a heretical notion of the nature of God, identifying the Father and the Son as one indivisible Spirit. Sadly, Hippolytus is attacked by Roman Catholicism as an "anti-pope", because he offered orthodox Christians of his time solid, biblical leadership in his role as a bishop in Rome.
  • Marcellinus (295-304), made sacrifices in public to pagan gods and gave the copies of the Scriptures the local church possessed to the civil authorities.
  • Liberius (352-366), was released from prison after renouncing the Nicene Creed, thus aiding in the condemnation of the solidly biblical bishop, Athanasius.
  • Anastasius II (496-498), supported the Monophysite heresy.
In the next installment we will look at the heresies of modern popes as well.

As we can see from this brief examination of the relevant Scriptures, as well as early church tradition, no Roman Catholic apologist can honestly claim that either lend any support to the claims of the papacy. 

Sunday, February 25, 2018

The Relationship of Apologetics to Theology

The word “apologetic” is derived from the Greek wordαπολογητική”, meaning “defense”. Thus the expression “Christian Apologetics” refers to the defense of the Christian faith. 

An apologetic examination of scientific challenges may confine itself to the setting forth of the rational grounds which are the bases of Christian truth- such as the witness of reason to the existence of God, the nature of humanity, and the relationship of humanity to its Creator, concluding with a defense of Divine Revelation. In the development of such an apologetic an opportunity is given whereby the assured conclusions of the various sciences which deal with the origin of humanity and the history of the cosmos receives intense attention. This is the most common form of apologetics as is evidenced in the voluminous works of Dr. William Lane Craig.

However, an apologetic which proposes for its specific object the defense of Revelation proper continues to make use of reason, but reason informed by faith as its main instrument, which presupposes the truths of “natural religion” already established, and proceeds to the detailed philosophical exposition of the nature, possibility, necessity, and comprehensible nature of Divine Revelation as set forth in Sacred Scripture. Thus the formal object and aim of any Christian Apologetics is the philosophical defense of Divine Revelation. The relationship of apologetics to theology is as follows:

The subject matter of theology- that is, its formal object- is God as supernaturally revealed, and as the point of apologetics is to defend all that has been supernaturally revealed, it is clear that apologetics forms a fundamental part of theology. Christian Apologetics is a rational defense of theological truth. This defense is made by reason under the direction of faith. Not that the apologist uses faith to enforce reason, or reason to establish faith, but he chooses under the direction of faith the special rational arguments put forth to defend Revelation, and develops their inquiring force wholly by means of the light of reason. As the fact of Revelation is not immediately obvious to us in our fallen and finite condition, we need the establishment of its truths because of their intrinsic value, and because of the eternal nature of our assent to these truths. Heaven and Hell are the only two logical outcomes, depending on one's response to the truths of theology and the reason behind apologetics.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Faith: An Apologetic Examination

The virtue of faith is a supernatural virtue whereby we believe truths revealed by God, and believe them on the authority of God revealing. It is to this "evidence" that Paul alludes when he describes faith as the "substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen." (Hebrews 11:1) We believe, not because of the intrinsic truth of things seen by the natural light of reason, but because of the Divine authority which guarantees their truth. An act of faith is a supernatural assent of the intellect, most certain and free, whereby we believe a truth revealed by God on His Divine authority. This means it is:
  • An intellectual assent under the dominion of the will and therefore free.
  • Supernatural, because of the inspiration and illumination of the Holy Spirit.
  • Absolutely certain and irrevocable, based on the authority of God. The assent is more certain than the antecedent judgment of credibility.
  • An antecedent judgment that God has spoken.
  • Free, even after the certain knowledge of credibility. The freedom is not only that of believing or not, but believing and disbelieving.
The object which is believed is either material or formal. The material object is the totality of revelation. It is divided into the object of faith per se, which cannot be known without revelation, and the preambles of faith. The object of faith per se is either formal or primary. i.e. intimate life of God, or other truths of revelation.

The formal object of faith is the authority of God revealing. The authority of God implies: 

1. His truthfulness;
2. His infallible knowledge.

Revelation itself, as the uncreated and free act of God, belongs to the formal motive of faith. The testimony of the church does not belong to the formal motive, but is only a condition. 

Intellectual assent is a judgment which may be doubtful, probable, or certain. 
  • Doubt- Intellect is not more inclined to accept a statement than to accept its contradictory.
  • Opinion- Intellect inclined to accept a statement, though with fear of error.
  • Certitude- In faith, it is divided into two categories:
  1. From the evidence of the object- Knowledge discursively reached.
  2. From the will- Object not evident, but accepted on the statement of a credible witness.
Since the intellect believes at the command of the will, the act of belief is free, because the object believed is not evident, and the motive is only one which influences the will to move the intellect to assent reasonably and firmly.

The virtue of faith must be supernatural and infused. Since the object to be believed (God and his intimate life) is essentially supernatural, the intellect of the believer must be proportioned to this object by a power essentially supernatural; belief must be infused by God and not acquired by humanity; and this is true not only for the faith of one in a state of grace, but for the faith of the sinner as well (preveient grace being operative).

Monday, February 12, 2018

The Supernatural: A Brief Theological Examination

I have noticed a very common misunderstanding regarding the supernatural. Quite often, anything at all outside the normal course of events is labeled supernatural- even by Christians- when it  is not the case. We need to be very precise in our understanding of these topics, as they impact our understanding of God, the natural and spiritual orders, and the angelic realm. A nominal definition of "supernatural" would be, "that which is above nature." The word "nature" in this connection means "the complexity of all things in the universe interdependent according to fixed laws". Hence the supernatural is above the laws of nature. A supernatural effect cannot be produced by a natural cause; a supernatural truth cannot be deduced by the natural power of the intellect.

Pantheists who maintain that the nature of God and the nature of the universe are the same must and do deny the existence of the supernatural. God is the immanent principle in nature (and evolution) for them, and so there is no supernatural.

Deists admit an essential distinction between God and the universe, but deny the action of God in human affairs, and so deny the supernatural.

Semi-Rationalists admit an essential distinction between God and nature, and admit also the possibility of miraculous intervention, but deny, with regard to God, the distinction between natural mysteries, and supernatural mysteries. Hence they admit the possibility of a supernatural effect-a miracle- but deny the possibility of supernatural truth.

The orthodox Christian understanding of the supernatural is, again, that which is above created nature, inasmuch as it exceeds the powers and exigencies of any created nature, although it does not exceed the passive perfectible capacity of created nature, nor the suitability of created nature to receive it. The supernatural, then, is twofold:

1. Supernatural miracles which exceed the power and exigency of created nature, but do not exceed the comprehension of the intellect.

2. Supernatural mysteries in the strict sense, and supernatural grace and glory. These exceed not only the power and exigency, but even the comprehension of any created intellectual nature.

The supernatural is further divided into that which is essentially supernatural, and that which is modally supernatural. 

That which is essentially supernatural exceeds the limits and comprehension of any created nature. The Trinity is an example of an essentially supernatural fact.

That which is modally supernatural is some natural fact or quality produced or arranged in a supernatural way. The resurrection of Lazarus, for example, was natural in itself as nature gives life, but supernatural in the manner of its accomplishment. 

There is nothing in the theological definition of supernatural that leaves room for so-called "paranormal" activity, as these belong to a different class of spiritual phenomena. The supernatural is entirely the effect of God directly intervening in human affairs, while angelic (including demonic) intervention/interference is more properly known as "preternatural."

Sunday, February 11, 2018

A Defense of the Ontological Value of the Primary Notions and Principles of Reason

It should be quite clear that knowledge of supernatural truth is impossible unless a foundation of natural truth exists. Hence, the necessity, at the outset of any statement on supernatural truth, to establish the truth that primary notions and primary principles of human reason have:

1. an objective (ontological) value,
2. and, a transcendental value

A direct proof of an intuitive truth is not possible. When the connection between subject and predicate is immediate there is no place for a middle term. Everyone has an intuitive perception that the Law of Non-Contradiction is not only a logical law of reason, but an ontological law of reality. It is likewise immediately evident that an absurdity, such as a square circle, not only cannot be conceived of, but is also not possible. Equally immediate is the evidence of the truth that a contingent universe postulates a necessary cause.

But if the direct proof of the ontological value of primary notions and principles of reason is not possible, a direct defense based on the explanation of the terms enables the mind to see the evidential character of the intuition.

A. Direct Defense
Major: Primary ideas and principles of reason which do not express objects per se sensible, but objects sensible per accidens and intelligible per se, and resolvable into intelligible being have a value not only phenomenal, but ontological. 

Minor: The primary notions of being, essence, existence, unity, truth, goodness, substance causality, finality, and correlative principles do not express objects per se sensible, like color, sound and other phenomena, but objects sensible per accidens and intelligible per se resolvable into intelligible being.

Conclusion: Therefore, primary notions and their correlative principles have a value not only phenomenal, but ontological.

Explanation of the Major: When the eye sees an orange, the color of the orange is the direct object of the faculty of sight; the eye perceives the sensible quality per se directly. But the intellect directly perceives under the sensible qualities the essence of the orange, and the essence, abstracted from sensible qualities, is the direct object of the intellect. Hence, the object of the intellect (i.e. essence) is intellibile per se, and sensible per accidens. If I see a man speaking I apprehend by the intellect of his life, and I can say that I see that he is alive, although life is not sensible per se like color and other phenomena. Thus notions which express sensible qualities per accidens and intelligible essence per se have a value which is not merely phenomenal, but ontological, because they apprehend the essence, substance, or being which underlies the phenomena.

Explanation of the Minor: The primary notions and their correlative principles intelligible per se and sensible only per accidens are resolvable into being. Unity is individual being, truth is being conformable to the intelligence on which it depends, goodness is desirable being, substance is a form of being, causality is the realization of being, finality is the ultimate purpose of being, etc. The intellect does not apprehend or judge anything unless in relation to being. In every judgment the essential relation is indicated by the word "is", which imports "being". Hence a judgment is not an association merely of names, but an association of things.

Should someone object that the idea of being is a subjective form of the understanding, the difference may be pointed out between the idea of being and ideas which express purely subjective notions (conceived but not capable of realization) such as notions of universality, specificity, whiteness, etc. Or the objection may be met by contrasting the ontological form of the Law of Non-Contradiction: "it is impossible that the same thing should exist and not exist", with the logical form of the same principle being, "it is impossible to affirm and deny the same predicate of the same subject in the same relation". The second form expresses only the inconceivable character of the absurd, the first form expresses its real impossibility. To reduce the notion of being to a subjective form of the mind,  and the Law of Non-Contradiction to a logical law and not an ontological law is to identify two notions manifestly distinct- the impossible and the inconceivable. If the Law of Non-Contradiction is only a logical law, then a square circle is inconceivable, but may exist in rerum natura.

Friday, February 9, 2018

What the Early Church Believed About the Watchers: Part 2

"1. And it came to pass when the children of men had multiplied that in those days were born unto them beautiful and comely daughters. 2. And the angels, the children of the heaven, saw and lusted after them, and said to one another: 'Come, let us choose us wives from among the children of men and beget us children.' 3. And Semjâzâ, who was their leader, said unto them: 'I fear ye will not indeed agree to do this deed, and I alone shall have to pay the penalty of a great sin.' 4. And they all answered him and said: 'Let us all swear an oath, and all bind ourselves by mutual imprecations not to abandon this plan but to do this thing.' 5. Then sware they all together and bound themselves by mutual imprecations upon it. 6. And they were in all two hundred; who descended in the days of Jared on the summit of Mount Hermon, and they called it Mount Hermon, because they had sworn and bound themselves by mutual imprecations upon it. 7. And these are the names of their leaders: Sêmîazâz, their leader, Arâkîba, Râmêêl, Kôkabîêl, Tâmîêl, Râmîêl, Dânêl, Êzêqêêl, Barâqîjâl, Asâêl, Armârôs, Batârêl, Anânêl, Zaqîêl, Samsâpêêl, Satarêl, Tûrêl, Jômjâêl, Sariêl. 8. These are their chiefs of tens."- Enoch 6 (R.H. Charles translation, 1917)

The sin of the Watchers was that they sought to marry human women, and through them to raise up their own nations in imitation of the Creator. Behind this is jealousy and a lust for experiences of the flesh and power. Their sin led to the Flood, wherein all life on earth but a few were destroyed by God. Interestingly, the Hebrew root word for Hermon means, "devote to destruction".

Many of the early Church Fathers accepted this history given in Enoch as consistent with the canon of Scripture. For example, the following:

"1.When man began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of man were attractive. And they took as their wives any they chose. Then the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not abide in[a] man forever, for he is flesh: his days shall be 120 years.” The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of man and they bore children to them. These were the mighty men who were of old, the men of renown."- Genesis 6:1-4

If we divorce these verses from the context given to them by Enoch, they make very little sense, and certainly seem out of place. This is why it is important to understand them as did 1st century Jews and Christians, since this illuminates the biblical text for us.

These Watchers mixed with human women and gave birth to the Nephilim- sometimes translated as "giants". These Nephilim, after the Flood, became what we know as demonic spirits. (Enoch 15:9; 11-12; 16:1) We find the Church Fathers embracing Enochian history and teaching the same.

"...the souls of the Nephilim, who are the demons.."- Athenagoras

"Being depraved themselves, they infuse others into the error of their depravity...The poets know that these spirits are demons."- Mark Minucius Felix

These very same disembodied Nephilim- now demons- are worshiped by pagans as deities.

"From the seed (of the Watchers), Nephilim are said to have been born...When they died, men erected images to them...And it is these whom you (pagans) presently worship and pray to as gods."- Commodianus

"However, those who were born (from the Watchers)- because they were neither angels or human, but had a mixed nature- were not admitted into Hades (when they died)...Thus, there came to be two kinds of demons: one of heaven, the other of the earth. The latter are the wicked spirits, who are the authors of all the evils that are done."- Lactantius

"In my opinion, it is certain wicked demons ( so to speak, of the race of Titans or Nephilim) who have been guilty of impiety towards the true God."- Origen

Note the specific use of the term Titans for these Nephilim. In Greek pagan mythology, the Titans were the second generation of divine beings, descended from a group of primordial deities who were said to have descended to a mountain. Sound familiar? It should, since this is exactly what we find in the Book of Enoch, and find corroborated in Genesis 6:1-4 ("the mighty men who were of old, the men of renown"), as well as the Epistle of Jude.

Dr. Michael Heiser and researcher Derek Gilbert have noted a very clear connection of the Enochian history to Mesopotamian paganism- specifically the story of the Apkallu. The Apkallu are ancient pagan heroes who were said to be in the service of an entity known as EA. All of these beings were said to exist before the Flood. Like the Enochian history, these entities were said to have taught various skills to humans, and obviously mated with human women, since after the Flood, as the Mesopotamian record tells us, the only surviving Apkallu are said to be of human descent, and no longer divine. One of the four surviving mixed Apkallu is none other than Gilgamesh. It is worth noting that the Essenes mention Gilgamesh in connection to the Nephilim as well, in the Book of the Giants, found at Qumran.

It is easy to see why 1st century Jews and Christians would have given three answers for the origin of evil in the cosmos. They saw the answer(s) being:
  • The Fall (Genesis 3)
  • The Watchers (Genesis 6:1-4)
  • The Judgment at Babel (Genesis 11; Deut. 32:8-9)