6 May 2012


Scott Alan Roberts. The Rise and Fall of the Nephilim; The Untold Story of Fallen Angels, Giants on the Earth, and Their Extraterrestrial Origins. New Page, 2012.

The question that the author poses is one of those awkward types that mainstream Christianity tends to skip over. The Nephilim in question, for those of you unfamiliar with the early portions of Genesis, are the characters represented thus: “There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.” (Genesis 6:4 – King James Authorised).
The remainder of the chapter goes on to explain that Mankind was a bit of a let-down for God, so he got Noah to build his Ark and flooded the place out. The rest is history (just about).

Scott Alan Roberts is the founder of Intrepid magazine, which covers general forteana, and it seems possible that the mystery of the Nephilim was one of the subjects that propelled him towards investigating and writing about esoterica. He is in an interesting position to answer the question he poses, which is along the lines of who were these giants who came down here and slept with our women? He attended a theological seminary, and this is where the question popped into his mind in the first place. He soon discovered that it was basically ignored and, as a consequence of asking it, he gained a reputation as a troublemaker and a bit of a bad influence. Even after moving away from his roots as a fundamentalist Christian to encompass a broader view of the universe, he found that the question about the Nephilim would not leave his thoughts, hence this book. In it he attempts to find out as much as he can about these mysterious Biblical avatars as he possibly can from what amounts to a few sentences of ancient Hebrew.

Roberts has something which is very useful indeed to bring to this query, and that is the education received as part of his theological education. The result of this is that he can go back to the original Hebrew words and the context in which they are set – and he does so with a relish. Tough work indeed, and yet he manages to dissect the original text in such a way that one is left pondering the many other questions that his work brings up. Some books asking big questions of the past often have authors who do not have this level of training and insight. It is all too common that the translations we read, whilst adequate for conveying a general sense of the meaning of the original, can mislead us when specific details are required.

He also looks at the disaster myths of other cultures and civilisations in order to flesh out the detail in his search for what went on and finds many accounts replete with giants from around the world. These are compared to the account in Genesis in order to try to find out just what happened in our distant past. It certainly opens the eyes to see just how many tales of the ancients mention titans and serpents.

One thing which I have to say that I find unaccountable is Roberts’ attempts to tie the Nephilim in with ‘modern’ grey aliens. Firstly, he does not seem particularly convinced by his own arguments. When he translates from the Bible, his thoughts on the process are logged clearly for us all to follow. When he mentions contemporary concepts such as Roswell, it is precisely that; a mention and no more. The work that he puts into delving into the past, finding the meanings and contexts of words from the Bronze Age speaking to us today is apparent for all to see. The brief comment that is his attempt to unify the Nephilim with the sightings of greys has no conviction or evidence to back it up.

This is hardly surprising; whatever the truths of antediluvian writings, at least they actually exist as artefacts. Greys and their attendant cultural events, such as abductions and crashes, have no proof behind them; therefore there is nothing for someone such as Roberts to get their teeth into in the same way as analysing the grammar, spelling and context of biblical text. It is as if he realises that he has nothing that can be worked up into a tangible case that will persuade himself, let alone the reader.
That aside, the book is entertaining and (cliché time) thought-provoking. I utilise this over-used phrase because Roberts actually does provoke us into thinking about what might have been going on in those times, and what these early historical writings are actually recording. If he is right then something completely startling and (curse these clichés) mind-blowing occurred thousands of years ago to shape our present world and traces of it were recorded in our oldest texts and legends. -- Trevor Pyne

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