I’m reading your book Origins—excellent book [on Genesis 1-11]. I had a question about the Watcher account of 1 Enoch and the knowledge that was passed on to mankind. I wondered about the civilizations that are being discovered that are older than ours—yet advanced. For example, the Sphinx of Giza geologically dates to 11,000 BC and correlated with monolithic sites in Turkey, like Göbekli Tepe. I wonder what your opinion is on the connection of the knowledge of their building aspect, stone cutting aspect and moving large amounts of stones—farther than 500 miles—to build their monuments.
In the younger era of the Ice Age it seems like there was a global catastrophe that destroyed and flooded a good portion of the earth, which explains the flood stories around the world. It seems to match some of the writings of the ancient Mesopotamians and the Watcher story with the Apkallus, who helped heroes and sages to build these amazing civilizations. Knowledge, "passed down from the “gods.” I just wondered what your thoughts were on this fascinating topic. —G.G.
Now if we are to believe all of 1 Enoch, the giants were 300 cubits tall. In the Dead Sea Scrolls, they are 3000 cubits high! I do not take the stories of the Watchers and the Nephilim historically, as that seems to work against the theology of the Bible.
An object can be millions of years old geologically. But the sphinx was shaped in the Egyptian period. Which itself spans millennia, as you know.
People routinely understate the ability of the ancients to build things. For example, some conclude that the pyramids are just too perfect. Aliens must have directed the operation. Or else their civilization was as advanced as ours. Rarely does anyone refer to all the failed pyramids. It took many goes to get it right, and the collapsed and misshapen attempts are strong archaeological proof that the Egyptians (and Nubians) learned in the school of hard knocks :-). Less advanced civilizations still performed some pretty amazing feats. I'm thinking of the Jerusalem's Temple / Temple Mount and the stone heads of Easter Island.
As for ancient flood stories, sure, they're everywhere. Yet they come from multiple different periods. There is evidence of global flooding—yet at multiple times. The geological evidence simply does not support a global flood—and many good minds have tried to find the correlation. Besides, the account in genesis assumes a flat earth... Not that it's a mistake. The flood story appears to be a rewriting of the ancient myths to tell us the truth about God. A true story—stripped of mythology, idolatry, and untruths about God and God's world.
Anyway, I hope you pursue this further. Our book has lots of bibliographic references, websites, and resources, like those in the appendices. Keep studying, let me know where you land.