Book Review: The Fallen Angels and The Heroes of Mythology


Author: Rev. John Fleming, A.B. 

Publisher: Defender Publishing reproduced this work with the original publications from Hodges, Foster, and Figgis Publishers to the University in Dublin, 1879



Back Cover: The Fallen Angels and The Heroes of Mythology

In the beginning, God created the Heavens and the earth…

Soon thereafter, however, the harmonious communion that God intended for mankind to live within was interrupted by a sinister intervention from the enemy. As days turned into years, this ancient agenda of corruption continued to intertwine even more deeply with the human story…affecting the very makeup of mankind…
“And it came to pass, when men began to multiply in the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose…”
Who were these “sons of God,” and “daughters of men?” This and many parallel questions are what author Rev. John Fleming researched and addressed nearly a century and a half ago in this thorough antiquarian work. Finally, this extensive work is available to the main-stream collector, who may again access these ancient writings, gaining the ability to:

 > Understand what scripture is really telling us about the genetic trend taking place in Genesis 6 when it says: “And the Lord said, My spirit shall not always dwell with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.”
> Explore who the “Sons of God” and “daughters of men” really were according to the ancient writings that trace these key phrases back to their original Greek and Hebrew translations.
> Compare popular theories using Fleming’s concise, thorough review of many different concepts and interpretations of these scriptures as construed through Greek mythology, Mendelsssohn’s View, the Jewish or Filii Magnatum Interpretation, the Sethite Interpretation, and the Angel Interpretation.
> Learn who the Nephilim, the Gibborim, and the Rephaim were, and their roles in the Antediluvian world were.
> Discover the true identity of the race described by scripture when it speaks of “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 ol, mighty men of renown.”
> Uncover the real reason God chose to destroy all mankind, save only a few key people, in a world-wide catastrophic event—the Flood.

Rev. John Fleming’s commendable and exhaustive research includes writings from such expert scholars of olden times as Kurtz, Kiel, Kitto, Maitland, Delitzsch, Nägelsbach, Leipzig, Richers, Hofmann, Engelhardt, Bryant, and many others.

Defender Publishing is proud to reproduce the classic “The Fallen Angels and the Heroes of Mythology” (subtitled: The Same with, “The Sons of God” and “The Mighty Men” of the Sixth Chapter of the First Book of Moses) by Rev. John Fleming, A.B., Incumbent of Ventry and Kildrum, Diocese of Ardfert: Rural and Irish Society’s Missionary. This volume was originally put into print by Hodges, Foster, and Figgis Publishers to the University in Dublin, 1879.


Book Review: The Fallen Angels and The Heroes of Mythology

The first thing I noticed was the wonderful book cover and how it fit this book so well. It’s a hard cover copy with 171 pages that are double-columned. This book was originally published by Hodges, Foster & Figgis to the University of Dublin, 1879. A word of warning, there are several notes written in Latin and words that are written in Hebrew and Greek (words from the Old and New Testament, respectively). Unless you are fluent to read in these languages, this can prove a little frustrating. I was able to determine the Hebrew and Greek words based on the context, but the notes that were in the back, written in Latin, not so much. I do wish these had been translated as well, but it did not take away from the benefit of the book, in my opinion.

The book contains the following:

  • Preface
  • Introduction
  • The Filii-Magnatum, or Jewish Interpretation
  • The Sethite Interpretation
  • The Angel-Interpretation (broken into two chapters)
  • Notes
  • Footnotes

This book did an excellent job of spelling out the various views of the Genesis 6:2-4 interpretation of Bene-Elohim (Sons of God), as well as their offspring and what demons are and where they come from. The Fallen Angels and the Heroes of Mythology is a great resource book for any library, as it has plenty of varying views, notes and footnotes. The author makes his point clear, but in fairness, shares the views of others. He did a good job of also of stating why he believes that the other views do not make sense when put in light of Scripture. The notes and footnotes are not to be missed, if you would like to be more thorough in this study. Finally, while some words are archaic, it’s generally easy to read and follow. 


My thoughts about The Fallen Angels and The Heroes of Mythology

I have to say that I learned a lot, not only about the Angel-Interpretation, but about the other interpretations and how they derived. It’s not a mystery that I’m more of a Biblical literalists and tend to use the Bible—rather than secular books or opinions—to interpret the Bible. With that said, we can certainly benefit from using historical books to help us better understand the Bible, as long as the extra-Biblical works do not conflict with Scripture.

When reading through the various views, my belief was solidified, as I was able to refer back to the Bible, Old and New Testament, as well as use an extra-Biblical text or two, to help understand why the other views are not, in my opinion, lining up with Scripture. I tend to follow the Angel-Interpretation, that was the view of the disciples and early Church fathers, with some exceptions. Around the late third to fourth century, scholars suddenly abandon this view as heretical. The opinion was based on several factors: angel worshipping, “chiefly the rise and spread of certain superstitious and unwarrantable practices in the Church” (p.30)  and the start of monkery. Neither, in my opinion, are worthy reasons to abandon a belief that was so strongly held by those that preceded us and those that walked with Jesus…who surely would have corrected their view of the Genesis 6 events, if they were indeed wrong. But, He didn’t and the Holy Spirit inspired both Peter and Jude to speak of these times, in light of Bene-Elohim (Sons of God) being angels (unholy, fallen angels) rather than humans of any kind.

Honestly and respectfully, I have to admit that the other views make little sense to me, without twisting Scripture to match the theology or taking the supernatural out of it. I cannot understand how the godly men of the Sethites mating with the ungodly women could produce giants (Sethite-Interpretation), unless, giants is redefined to no longer match up with the remainder of Scripture. This is not sound reasoning, genetically speaking, if not theologically as well. You cannot have two average height humans produce a giant, unless that “giant” gene is in the lineage somewhere. Then the question arises, where did that “giant’ gene come from? In addition to this, the view that mean of prominence mated with “humbler” (poor) women (Filii-Magnatum-Interpretation), also fails to convey how giants would be the result of such a union. And for both of these and various other views, it significantly fails, in my opinion, to explain 1 Peter 19-20; 2 Peter 2:4-6 and Jude 6, 7, as well as the reason God decided that the only means to handle such sin was to wipe out the entire earth, save eight souls and the animals aboard the Ark.

One of my absolute favorite parts of the book was the section titled Supporters of the angel-interpretation (the fathers, etc). This is a portion that quotes the writings of our early Church fathers and their view on this very topic, including Clements, who it’s said walked and ministered along side Peter. It’s believed that Clement was taught by Peter and wrote down what he was taught. And, so long as his work has not been corrupted and indeed he did walk with and learn from Peter, it is very telling of how Peter understood the events of Genesis 6. The book alone is worth it for this section.

I had several and one enormous “ah-ha” moment as I was going through this book. I really enjoyed reading the various views of the interpretation of Genesis 6, even if I didn’t agree with most, because it always helps me to understand the Bible more clearly and to rely on the Bible to help me filter through various opinions and interpretations. I had eye-opening revelation about the sons of Lemach (son of Cain), who were Jabal, Jubal and Tubal-cain, and his sister Naamah. I also gained a strong supposition about the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah. Plus, more information on the gods and demi-gods of Greek mythology. 

While I didn’t agree with every view of the author, I did agree with his main premise, that I believe he substantiated very well throughout the book.


Would I Recommend The Fallen Angels and The Heroes of Mythology

Yes, absolutely. This book is a great addition to the library of any serious student of Scripture. It’s eye-opening and insightful. It’s well written and researched. Even with the words here and there in Greek and a few notes in Latin, it is still an amazing resource, especially for pastors, preachers, Bible scholars and seminary students. Hands down, this is one of my favorite resources on this topic to date.


And, that’s a wrap… The Fallen Angels and The Heroes of Mythology

I hope you found this review helpful. If so, please share it with your family and friends, so they can learn about this great book too. You can click here or on any image of the book on this page to see it on Amazon. Thanks for taking the time to read this review and God bless!



“It may be added to this, that if the occurrence related in this passage of Scripture were, as all are agreed, the cause which ultimately led to the most tremendous judgment with which this world has been visited, little argument is needed to show the propriety of inquiring into the real nature of such an occurrence. To this point the reader’s attention will be directed. And if, while thus occupying no unimportant place in the Bible history, this passage of Scripture further serves, when rightly interpreted, and viewed in connexion with other Scriptures, to throw light upon the relations, and yet wide distinction, which subsist between the angelic and human worlds—if it helps to explain a portion  of the pagan mythology—if it contains a solemn warning against sins of the flesh, and reminds the reader of the awful punishment with which, more than once, such sins have been visited…”

-Rev. John Fleming, A.B., The Fallen Angels and the Heroes of Mythology, p. vii


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