Sons of God, according Alex Golovenko, occurs only 5 times in the oldest books of the Bible (Genesis and Job). While not specifically occurring in the book of Psalm (at least according to Golovenko), there is a similar phrase translated as "ye mighty ones" (Psalm 29:1) or "the sons of the mighty" (Psalm 89:6). (Golovenko is speaking specifically about the Hebrew word occurrence found in Genesis and Job; he does not take into account the English translations of sons of God else where in the Bible.) Daniel also references the concept (Daniel 3:25). The Septuagint according to Golovenko, faithfully translates these other terms into "Sons of God" and so has the Peshita (Aramic/Syraic Bible).
According to Golovenko, not all translations use the term sons of God. Codex Sinaiticus (4th century), Alexandrius (5th century) and Codex Vaticanus (12th century) translate the phrases as "angels". Further, Golovenko points that sometimes, Elohim (the Hebrew plural name for God; see Wikipedia article or Maas, 1909).
Golovenko goes on to assert that it is in the Book of Watchers (1st Enoch) and the Book of Jubilees (3rd century B.C.) that propose the idea of "sons of god" being "angels". "Watchers", Golovenko said, (used in Daniel 4:13,17,23), refers to the angels pointed to guard Eden (I thought God appointed cherubs to do that! Oh Well!).
Golovenko continued to state that the early records of "church fathers" and historians of antiquity from the 1st to 3rd century including Flavius Josephus, Philo, Eusebius and many of the "Ante-Nicene Fathers" including Justin Martyr, Clement of Alexandria, Origen, Tertullian, Irenaeus (one of the early Christians that I respect based on a reading of a translation of his writings; see earlier blog post on this) and others continued in what Golovenko calls "this tradition" of fallen angels having children. Golovenko further states that, "Their pagan origins and Greek mythology permitted such a worldview" (for added emphasis I want to mention that this quote is verbatim and are not my words, but Golovenko's. It is on this latter point that I would like to make some commentary and reserve the rest of the information presented for another post).
First of all, I must say that Golovenko is of the view or belief that angels cannot have intercourse with human beings. I however, note that such a view goes against the circumstantial evidence of females who have shared their personal stories of sleeping in the night and experiencing demons (or some unseen spiritual entity) attempting to have intercourse with them. I also note that I have never heard of men sharing those stories. I also note that apostle Paul gives a rare warning that females must cover their heads during spiritual gatherings "because of the angels" (1st Corinthians 11:10; see the KJV or NIV). It seems to me, if I interpret it correctly, going back to Genesis 6:1-2, that the angels by looking at women, their hair and all, can find them attractive. Further, Genesis 3:15 states categorically that the serpent (if we interpret the serpent as being Satan), will have an offspring or children that will fight against the offspring and children of the woman (NIV).
I further add to the evidence the fact that many Satanic cults and pagan religions practice and celebrate sex and have many sexual and fertility rites (Ross, 1995). Many ancient pagan deities have priestesses and orgies or group sex, as part of their ceremonies. It was within this pagan milieu that the Christian church was born. Based on all these data, it seems to me that it is not only possible that angels can have intercourse with women, but it is also prophesied that Satan will have children (sons of Satan) just like how God would have an incarnate son.
Hence, for me, Genesis 6:1-4, with references to the sons of God having intercourse with women is not a myth. Rather, it shows that human beings are vulnerable to being raped by demonic entities. This also goes back to the issue of extra-terrestrial abduction and rapes that many females witnesses report in our modern times. I am sure, pastor Golovenko and any other Christian pastor cannot explain away such modern day occurrences by saying that females who experience extra-terrestrial abduction and rape were just imagining these things. It is further clear to me that our ancients, pagans and those closer to the time of Jesus and to Noah, know how vulnerable human beings are to such abductions and rapes by fallen angels. As such, we should not approach the Bible with the view that angels having sex with women is a crazy or even pagan idea. It is a very real phenomenon, and one which the Bible, not giving specific details, shadows the reality.
It is on this point that I end this posting and promise to continue the report of the Bible study, along with my commentary. Until then, God bless you.
Maas, A. (1909). Elohim. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Retrieved April 27, 2013 from New Advent:http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/05393a.htm
Ross, C. A. (1995). Satanic ritual abuse: Principles of treatment. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.