I think Heiser is heading towards UFO/alien probing territory.
No I have not. Who is Heiser and what are his qualifications?
Their appearance for the Israelites is described in Isaiah 6, as I mentioned above.
Dr. Heiser has a PhD in Hebrew Bible and Semitic Languages. He is a Scholar-in-Residence at Faithlife which is where I came across his “The Unseen Realm” book. I have just started reading the book but so far I have found it very interesting. There is a website More Unseen Realm that contains further discussion of what is in the book if you want to check him out without buying yet another book.
Thank you Bill! Dr. Heiser’s work has changed my view of Genesis and really the Bible and strengthened my faith. For the sake of time I would encourage George, Beaglelady to just take 30 minutes on your computer and watch the heiser YouTube Reversing Hermon. Then if you can please watch his other YouTube Angels,Demons,Nephilim, cherubim and other spiritual beings. His work ties in the Biblical passages with the book of the watchers and Sumerian mythology.
I will be very curious on your thoughts.
Absolutely not. In fact Heiser has a website called Sitchen is wrong! In case you don’t know Sitchen was an author claiming that the Sumerians were ruled by aliens That were like Gods.
However what is clear is that the Sumerians were extremely advanced 4 thousand years ago with knowledge that they ascribe to their demi Gods that came to them teaching them and ruling over them, called the Apkallu.
Heiser outright rejects Sitchen claim that these are aliens.
Could you re-state the whole concept you are endorsing? I’m not quite sure I know what you are rejecting, and what you are accepting, let alone what the un-named Facebook source is saying…
Yep. I know. He specifically addresses how to reconcile the varying descriptions for what he considers to be the same divine entity (or entities).
You should watch the 7 minute video… just as a Comparative Anthropology for yet another way of interpreting parts of the Old Testament. I don’t think you will regret it. His presentation is most novel, and surprisingly complex.
Then you can be much more informed when you throw the whole thing in the trash … (Personaly, I found his analysis fascinating! - - and 70% consistent with my own!)
Yes I know about Stichin (note the spelling), and Heiser’s site about Stichin. I read it a long time ago. That doesn’t change what I said about Heiser. In case you didn’t know, these are Heiser’s views.
As many readers till know, I’ve had a presence in the UFO community since the publication of my first novel, The Façade. (For why I bother with writing paranormal science fiction, blogging on UFO Religions, podcasting on paranormal topics, and participating in fringe communities like this, read this).
Those familiar with my involvement / ministry in know that I don’t think the question of an ET reality is a problem for Christian theology. I’ll be lecturing in Roswell, NM this summer during the festival for the 70th anniversary of the “Roswell event” on that and other topics. That said, what passes for contactee messaging and alien abductions is, in my view, quite sinister, and demonization is one (strong) possibility in my mind for explaining those phenomena.
Yes, Dr Heiser believes in UFOs, but he believes that what people think are extraterrestrials, are actually demons (!). That’s right, he does not believe supposed extra-terrestrials are actually alien life forms, he believes they are demons. He takes “alien abduction” stories seriously, but does not believe they are “alien abductions”; he believes they are cases of demonic possession (!), or sleep paralysis, or “Abductions by military personnel (i.e., MILABS) who implant an alien screen memory into the victim’s mind” (!), or products of disassociative identity disorder.
Special Webpage by Heiser (as identified by @Jonathan_Burke):
I must say, I’m disappointed in Heiser. But I suppose it is consistent with his world view of all things “miraculous” !!!
You know I was just going to reply and say that this is another problem I have with Heiser, getting involved with very silly documentaries. But you and Jonathan spoke before me.
The doctrine of accomadation, which the group rejects.
After thinking about it more and more, I now see no reason why the “gods” mentioned in passages such as Exodus 15:11 and Psalm 82 cannot simply be generic terms for spiritual beings, rather than literal gods. For as Michael Heiser explains here the word ‘Elohim’ is fairly broad in meaning and refers to all inhabitants of the supernatural realm, including God, Angels (which are merely Divine messengers), Demons, presumably the Host of Heaven in 1 Kings 22, Seraphim and Cherubim and even human ghosts such as that of Samuel. That is not to say that the gods of other nations were not perceived as real entities, but according to Deut 32, they were perceived of as being demons, not gods. For now I am renouncing the notion of ‘Monolatry’.
I was finding Heiser’s stuff pretty compelling (particularly his evaluation of the “serpent” in Genesis 3), but now I’m not sure. How etymologically sound is it to conflate adjective, verb, and noun forms into one meaning? Further, if the author of Genesis meant something more that nachash, say, something like seraph, then why didn’t he/she simply use the word seraph?
I brought up Academic Search Premier, which has thousands of journal and magazine articles, and searched for “Michael Heiser.” About the only paper I saw was “THE MYTHOLOGICAL PROVENANCE OF ISA. XIV 12-15: A RECONSIDERATION OF THE UGARITIC MATERIAL” published in 2001 in Vetus Testamentum, a journal of Old Testament Study. And that paper was cited several times. And there’s an article in the Westminster Theological Journal (on the Sons on God in Genesis 6) which mentions another Heiser paper.
I saw a review by Michael Heiser in the “Journal of Scientific Exploration” on the book, “Body Snatchers in the Desert: The Horrible Truth at the Heart of the Roswell Story” by Nick Redfern.
He has written many books that are on Amazon.com. Some are on biblical topics, some are on UFOs, and several are novels.
Supposedly he does have credentials, but his education has not been put to good use. And he’s not the staff of any important University or Divinity School.
Perhaps he’s gone off the rails. Kind of sad, when you think about it.
A lot of serious, prominent scholars espouse monolatry as a Biblical concept. Just because Heiser happens to agree with them on that one point doesn’t mean ipso facto that they are wrong. Heiser agrees with physicists on gravity, but that doesn’t make the theory of gravity dubious.
The thread is about another subject, so I will stop there.
Reggie. Yes, my understanding of Heiser of the term Elohim is that it is a broad term namely meaning spiritual being. It seems that the implication of Genesis 6 that these Sons of God took physical form (in this world) and took wives to bear children, the Nephilim. I think that Heiser believes that maybe Satan and a number of fallen angels (sons of God, Watchers) fell out from God and wanted to create their own nations to be worshipped as God. According to the book of the watchers the fallen sons of God are cursed by God. The Nephilim are mortal human but containing the spirit of the fallen angels. The fallen angels and perhaps the Nephilim want to enslave human souls to create their nations and be worshipped as Gods. A world enslaved in darkness. Now what world does that sound like?
A fantasy world. Mordor? Something from Scientology?
This is what the hierarchy of spirits looked like, from my understanding:
Yahweh- Supreme Elohim
Host of Heaven - God’s divine council, perhaps the stars in the sky were perceived of as being members of the Host of Heaven, given as the term is used interchangeably (see Isaiah 34:4).
Seraphim and Cherubim - divine throne guardians of Yahweh. The former were winged serpents, the latter Chimeras of multiple creatures.
Angels - Messengers of God, nothing more or less, given as the Hebrew word ‘Malak’ literally means messenger. The sons of God in Genesis 6 were most likely Angels, according to Jude 7.
Shedim- Lesser spirits, possibly demonic, but not necessarily always, given as an Akkadian cognate word ‘Shedu’ means a guardian spirit. I would suggest something akin to Islamic Jinn.
Rephaim- human ghosts, perhaps the most famous being that of Samuel, summoned up from the grave/underworld.