chapter  14
12 Pages

Fall as ascent: the exegesis of Gen 3–4 and 6:1–4 in the Apocryphon of John

ByJUTTA LEONHARDT-BALZER

The other story is less spectacular in its biblical form (Gen 6:1-4): After a while of human life on Earth the ‘sons of God’, angelic beings of the divine court, observe the human women and go down to Earth to mate with them. The result is the birth of the Nephilim, a generation of giants, described as the heroes of ancient times. God decides that his divine spirit must not live interminably in mankind, and therefore the human life span is limited to 120 years. Thus far the Bible, which proceeds to describe the evil of the human race and its punishment through the f lood.