Friday, February 13, 2009

Study Bible Notes Compared 4: Gen. 6:4

This time I'm looking at Genesis 6:4 which reads "The Nephilim were on the earth both in those days and afterwards, when the sons of God came to the daughters of man, who bore children to them. They were the powerful men of old, the famous men" (HCSB). The controversy surrounds, among other things, who/what are the "sons of God?" Basically there are three views: 1) fallen angels, 2) male descendants of Seth or 3) tyrannical kings. All of the study Bibles excelled here. MacArthur mentions all three but argues for the fallen angels view. The NLT Study Bible, NIV Study Bible, ESV Study Bible and the NET Bible mention all three views but most do not argue for one view over another. The Life Application Study Bible only mentioned two views but that is understandable given its emphasis on application. I would like to note that the NET Bible was the most through and also offered what no other study Bible does: it references a commentary in the note for further study. In this case it cites G. J. Wenham's contribution in the Word Biblical commentary and even gives the page number. The NLT Study Bible does include a section for "Further Reading" at the end of their book introduction and this commentary is noted as well along with several others. But only the NET Bible includes bibliographic references in the actual notes. I like this feature in both the NLT Study Bible and the NET Bible and would welcome this feature in future editions of study Bibles. My first choice on this is the NET Bible.

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