What is the definition of nĕphiyl - the literal translation actually

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by annsni, Sep 29, 2011.

  1. annsni

    annsni
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    On another board, some lady (who is copying and pasting stuff) is saying that the literal meaning of nĕphiyl (translated as giants in Genesis 6) was mistranslated as "giants" and really literally means "those who from heaven came to earth". Any Hebrew scholars who know anything about this?

    Oh - and she's arguing with me that we don't know that the New Testament was written in Greek and that many scholars believe it was written in Hebrew and Aramaic. Is this really true? Are they that dense??
     
  2. JesusFan

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    Think that she is trying to fit her pet views and squeeze them into the biblical text!

    What is interesting on this, is that per both peter/Jude, it appears that those Nephlaim were offspring of those who desertrd their first estate/abode, and came to dwell among the women of man...
     
  3. preachinjesus

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    You can reasonably translate the word "giants." That's what it means. The only other place it exists in the OT is Numbers 13:33 were the spies return from the Promised Land and recount what they saw...giants. It's hard to say it only means "heaven and earth" wince that isn't in the actual Hebrew. Also with the cross reference the spies report is about mortal men, nothing to do with angelic beings.

    It's been floated but not seriously accepted for all the documents. It is likely that (maybe) one or two NT letters were written in Aramaic but that is hard since none of the oldest manuscripts are in that language. Everything we have, which is reliable, is in koine Greek so she'd have a pretty high burden of proof to reprove her claim.

    I'd simply open a UBS4, point to the critical apparatus and say "show me a text that is old and in Aramaic."
     
  4. JesusFan

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    just wondering if she either wears the same "glasses" that Morani gave Joseph Smith to 'see" the Bible texts, or if she has "translation substation", as while she reads the Greek text the HS makes it appear hebrew to her!
     
  5. Deacon

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    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 6:4 (ESV)

    The Septuagint translated it as “giants” [Greek = γίγαντες,].

    I’ve been reading a Christian science fiction book called, The Façade [LINK] which goes into some depth [in chapters 28 and onward] regarding an obscure theory relating to this word.

    Bear with me as I relate an opinion regarding this word:

    Early Hebrew culture believed in many gods, our god, Yahweh being the supreme Creator.

    This group of “gods” formed a divine council vaguely mentioned in Genesis 1:26.
    “Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.”

    This divine council is mentioned in Psalms 81 and 89

    God has taken his place in the divine council; in the midst of the gods he holds judgment:
    Psalm 82:1 (ESV)

    For who in the skies can be compared to the LORD? Who among the heavenly beings is like the LORD, a God greatly to be feared in the council of the holy ones, and awesome above all who are around him?
    Psalm 89:6–7 (ESV)

    Note: in Psalm 82:1 the word “God” and “gods” are the same. Elohim is plural in form, but is used for Israel’s singular God over two thousand times in the Old Testament. It’s sort of like our English word ‘deer’—you can’t tell if it’s singular or plural until you see it in context.

    Psalm 82:6-7 has the Most High judging the other gods of the council for being evil and corrupt and tells them they will die like all humans [note he calls the evil “elohim”, sons of the Most High. [Look at Exodus 15:11 and also compare various versions when reading Psalm 29:1 – in particular NAS95 and ESV].
    Reading Ps 82 in light of this theory make it take on a totally different and interesting slant.

    In Genesis 6:1-4 these “sons of God” are the Nephilim, the giants.
    These Nephilim are not angels and not human, they were part of the divine council.

    Rob
     
    #5 Deacon, Sep 29, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 29, 2011
  6. robycop3

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    How about the nephilim Temple workers?
     
  7. Van

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    Hi Ann, I would take any assertion as to the meaning of nephilim with a grain of salt. If you look at the commentaries, the bottom line is we do not know. As a minimalist, I would assume the reference is to men of large stature. Apparently Goliath sized men existed before the flood, as well as after the flood. No need to conclude they were biologically related, but only larger than average at the time. A conservative translation would simply transliterate the word, i.e use nephilim in the text, rather than attach a possible but uncertain meaning, i.e "giant" or alternatively "fallen ones." Here and elsewhere we get the contrast between man's view (i.e men of great stature) with God's view (big sinners).

    In a similar way, anyone who claims the original autographs of the NT were written in Greek, or Hebrew, or Aramaic is making a claim without much support. What we do know is we have lots of copies of various parts of the NT written within the lifetime of eyewitnesses and they are all in Greek. So again as a minimalist, I would say the NT was probably written in Greek but some words or sections may have been written in Aramaic, just like the OT is primarily Hebrew with some words and sections written in Aramaic.
     
    #7 Van, Sep 30, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 30, 2011
  8. revmwc

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    The Hebrew is lypn translitereated [email protected] (nefeel') according to strongs. Strongs says giants of Nephilim. Others render the name as fallen or feller. These belived by many to be the off-spring of fallen angels (sons of God) and the daughters of mankind. I was taught in the church I was brought up in that these Nephilim were sterile and could not reproduce. Like the Mule is sterile so virtually a hybred being. Had they continued eventually the human race would be no more and noone could be saved.
    The New Testament was written in Greek and parts of the old testament were written in Arramaic especially Daniel. I have heard that Jesus and those in Israel spoke Aramaic and not Greek but Greek was the langauge of the writting of the New Testament and the Septuagent O. T. is the Greek translation from the Hebrew.
     
  9. preachinjesus

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    Not being a booger but that's not the transliteration. The Hebrew is
    נְּפִלִים


    That would make the transliteration of the lemma nepilym. If Strongs told you this Strongs is wrong.

    Here's the actual verse:

    הַנְּפִלִים הָיוּ בָאָרֶץ, בַּיָּמִים הָהֵם, וְגַם אַחֲרֵי-כֵן אֲשֶׁר יָבֹאוּ בְּנֵי הָאֱלֹהִים אֶל-בְּנוֹת הָאָדָם, וְיָלְדוּ לָהֶם: הֵמָּה הַגִּבֹּרִים אֲשֶׁר מֵעוֹלָם, אַנְשֵׁי הַשֵּׁם

    Again, not being mean or condescending but just want to make sure we speak accurately when correcting error. :)

    (Apologies if there are wrapping issues...this stuff rarely works well in BB Code.)
     
  10. revmwc

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    I just posted what Strongs had it is usually fairly accurate and I don't have my youngs available right now, I usually go to it.
     
  11. preachinjesus

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    I've found Strongs to be consistently unreliable and generally have Koehler & Baumgartner along with the BHS (i.e. Hebrew) text available at most points.

    Of course my encourage to anyone, and everyone, is to just learn the original language (there are a wealth of free tools online) and it helps volumes. Just adding a gentle point of encouragement. :)
     
  12. revmwc

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    Youngs uses it as nephilim meaning Fallen Ones or Fellers.
     
  13. revmwc

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    The verse:
    4 The fallen ones were in the earth in those days, and even afterwards when sons of God come in unto daughters of men, and they have borne to them -- they [are] the heroes, who, from of old, [are] the men of name
     
  14. preachinjesus

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    That's a curious translation. Given the other lexical example, aforementioned, I would challenge that it isn't the best translation. K&B, the best Hebrew lexicon, translates the word "giants, monsters." It does note that some other documents from the period allow for an extension for those brought forth from heaven but to limit the definition as Young's does seems implausible. Do they extend that definition to the spies report in Numbers? Curious.

    Nevertheless, this is a good discussion, thanks for taking the time to look it up. I'm always curious as to the things some might find in these interlinears. :thumbsup:
     
  15. revmwc

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    The numbers passage strongs uses lypn the same term youngs again is nephilim.
    Dueteronomy the word changes per youngs in Deut 2 and 3 the passages use rapha for giants fearful ones or giant. Strong's also uses Rapha in the Deuteronmoy passages.

    As well as Josuha, 1 Chronicals. 2 Samuel all use rapha.

    Job 16:14 uses gibbor Mighty strong one we see giant.
     
  16. Deacon

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    Nephilim is a plural Hebrew word of indeterminate origin [the “im’ at the end is a masculine plural ending acting like an “s” in English].
    Some earlier translators (as demonstrated by Young's Literal Translation) guessed that nephilim was derived from the Hebrew word, napal, meaning “to fall upon” (see Job 1:15; Josh. 11:7).

    This word origin is dubious and doubted by modern scholars.
    The translation “giants” is supported mainly by the LXX and even that may be misleading.
    The word is of unknown origin and best transliterated rather than translated as seen in many modern versions today.

    Rob
     
    #16 Deacon, Oct 1, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 1, 2011
  17. HankD

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    The word is from the root NAPHAL and is used over 400 times as the word "fall"

    e.g. Genesis 17:3 And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying,

    I could only find the plural noun form nephalim in Genesis 6:4 and Numbers 13:33

    Numbers 13:33 And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.​

    All the other uses that I could find of "giant" or "giants" is from the Hebrew RAPHA or RAPHAIM.

    Deuteronomy 2:20 (That also was accounted a land of giants: giants dwelt therein in old time; and the Ammonites call them Zamzummims;​

    HankD​
     
  18. HankD

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    BTW, whoever these nephalim are since they appear again in the account in the book of Numbers, then 1) The word is simply a descriptive term, or 2) They survived the flood or 3) (if they are other than human) they fell again to earth upon/among the family of Anak.

    HankD
     
  19. Jim1999

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    This whole discussion over a spurious word is really amusing, and makes me wonder how much actual study has been historically done on the languages of the day, and where they were used dominantly.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  20. HankD

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    I think folks are getting bored Jim.

    HankD
     

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