Corruption of the Imago Dei: The בְּנֵי הָאֱלֹהִים Motif, Giants, and Jude 5-7

Overview of Argumentation:
D.A. Carson describes the difficulty of the exegetical, biblical theological task given the systematic theological traditions. He argues it is very hard work to be informed by them without being controlled by them (D. A. Carson, “Systematic Theology and Biblical Theology,” New Dictionary of Biblical Theology, ed. T. Desmond Alexander and Brian S. Rosner, (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2000), 101).

Canon-wide biblical theologies tend to neglect the בְּנֵי הָאֱלֹהִים motif in their important works (e.g., T. Desmond Alexander and Simon J. Fathercole, Heaven on Earth (Carlisle, England: Paternoster Press, 2004); G. K. Beale, A New Testament Biblical Theology: The Unfolding of the Old Testament in the New (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2011); Thomas R. Schreiner, The King in His Beauty: A Biblical Theology of the Old and New Testaments (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2013).

Accordingly, in light of false teachers who have crept into the church undetected, why does Jude submit to his readers the rebellion of the Wilderness generation, the angelic incursion, and the sexual solicitation of the Sodomites as a relevant paradigm of warning? Recent scholarly advances assist the interpreter to see and share his coherence of thought, which may seem incongruous at first (e.g., A. Amar; A. Wright; M. Heiser; J. Collins; R. Bauckham). Thus, Jude’s exhibit of the בְּנֵי הָאֱלֹהִים motif serves as a model to enhance the pursuits of biblical theologians and homeliticians in their respective efforts — particularly as these relate to passages which may seem peripheral to the modern interpreter yet are integral to the theological anthropology of the biblical narrative as a whole.

Thesis Statement:
The paper contends that the בְּנֵי הָאֱלֹהִים motif serves as a significant explanatory framework for seeing the coherence of Jude’s thought in Jude 5-7 regarding giants, anthropomorphic angels, and the false teachers who have slipped into the church undetected.

Contribution to the Field:
The paper analyzes the בְּנֵי הָאֱלֹהִים motif as displayed in Jude 5-7, through an examination of the original languages of the Bible, germane ancient Mesopotamian and Second Temple literature, and thus warrants contribution to the subject of theological anthropology.

5 thoughts on “Corruption of the Imago Dei: The בְּנֵי הָאֱלֹהִים Motif, Giants, and Jude 5-7”

  1. Richardson, Corruption of the Imago Dei: The בְּנֵי הָאֱלֹהִים M
    Seems aware of the literature and questions, and if he can deliver half of the above, it will be very good.


Leave a Comment