Initially, this was supposed to be a review for the recent release of The Case for Christ, but it occurred to me that I had not done any sort of recap/summary of the last Sons of God, Giants of Old Conference back in May. So, fear not, the review is forthcoming, but for now a play-by-play of SOG V.
Sons of God, Giants of Old 5 convened on Saturday, May 20, 2017. As usual, we met at the Fellowship Baptist Church in Lubbock, with Pastor Dan Chrestman hosting and presiding. Featured speakers were curator of the Mt. Blanco Fossil Museum Joe Taylor, archaeologist Dr. Aaron Judkins, and yours truly, Dr. Judd Burton. Friday evening, speakers and guests had a chance to mingle and fellowship, with the presentations themselves taking place on Saturday.
Joe Taylor gave guests a tour through the history of a Texas legend and its potential relevance to the ongoing narrative of fallen angels, giants, and demons. “The Aurora Airship” gave conference goers a summary of events that transpired in 1897, when a strange airship/UFO made its way across West and North Texas. Merkel resident Sherry Burton spoke on the record of the ship’s passage through Merkel, Texas in 1897 (an event also recorded in Whitley Streiber’s Communion). Among the strange elements of the Aurora story is that one of the occupants of the airship died when it crashed in Aurora, Texas. Residents gave him a Christian burial, but the cemetery association refuses to allow exhumation to this day. Joe expressed interest in that very thing, wishing to ply his knowledge of osteology and paleontology to the remains.
I presented second on “The Giants of Shinar.” My presentation was a continuation of themes I began at last year’s conference, with certain incongruities in the Egyptian hierarchy of scale thesis and their records of giants. In “The Giants of Shinar” my attention turned to ancient Mesopotamia, where instances of the giants also exist in pictorial and textual records. Among those instances I examined were the representation of certain gods like Shamash as giants, the theory that Nimrod and Gilgamesh are one in the same, and possible references to giants or Watchers in the Book of Daniel. Specifically, Nebuchadnezzar II made a comment after throwing Shadrach, Meschech, and Abednego into his fiery furnace, upon noticing a forth form in the fire: “I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they are not hurt, and the fourth is like a son of the gods.” (Dan. 3:25). My contention is that Nebuchadnezzar had possibly seen one in his lifetime, and certainly lived with the knowledge of such creatures, as preserved in the writings and art of Mesopotamia. Anchoring the Daniel account in historicity, I also referenced the Nabonidus Chronicle and cylinder, an account by the last king of the Neo-Babylonian empire which mentions Daniel by his Babylonian name.
Finally, our own esteemed archaeologist Dr. Aaron Judkins gave us an update on his work at Qumran in Israel. Last December, Aaron became involved in a project to open a new cave at the Essene site of Qumran on the shores of the Dead Sea. This site, of course, is the source of the storied Dead Sea Scrolls, which contained canonical Biblical works, and a host of apocryphal texts including The Book of Enoch and The Book of Jubilees. The head archaeologist on the project suspected that the new cave could potentially hold additional texts. The excavation of the cave certainly produced a number of period artifacts including jars and inkwells, as well as older Neolithic artifacts such as arrowheads and worked flints. However, the most exciting finds were the period rolls of papyrus, and a fragment of writing yet to be preserved and translated. That’s right—a piece of a Dead Sea Scroll. The cave has since been given authenticity by both the Israel Antiquities Authority and the leading authorizes on the Dead Sea Scrolls, changing the designation of the site to Cave 12 (Q12). The find is exciting enough in its implications, but there are additional caves waiting to be opened and excavated. I’m sure we will all be watching Dr. Judkin’s work with great interest.
This is the kind of incredible and solid research that has been presented since the beginning of the SOG conference began. Our regional conference is quickly becoming one of the venues to hear the latest in scholarship on the Watchers and giants of the ancient world. Stay tuned, follow on social media, get the RSS feed—whatever you have to do—in order to get the latest news about conferences and speaking. As always, the conference is free of charge, and we welcome you to the next conference. That may come in the form of a SOG 5.2 in December of this year.