22 March 2013

Review: Fallen Angels, Watchers, Giants, Nephilim and Evil - Ann Nyland

Fallen Angels, Watchers, Giants, Nephilim and Evil
Fallen Angels, Watchers, Giants, Nephilim and Evil by Ann Nyland

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is my first time reading a book by Nyland, and while overall, the content and her connecting the pieces together was good, but quite often the delivery seemed lacking. The material feels a little like just a bunch of pieces of disjointed facts and texts tossed together with a bit of notes in an attempt to make a comprehensive writing.

Not much background to things is given most of the time, and no real leading up to a point and then proving it. Most of the time it feels like a bunch of pieces of scholarly points, laced together to be somewhat cohesive.

For me, already being familiar with many of the texts she quotes from, this was not a major distraction, but most people tend to give a little background on the books being quoted from and maybe a little lead in text, which would benefit the reader greatly. Maybe this is a good thing. Maybe this would be considered straight and to the point, and maybe I am just not used to it. It just struck me as an odd writing style that I am not used to, taking away from the scholarly aspect of the topic, and maybe not a good introductory type book for the uninitiated.

While some of the connections seem bit of a stretch and are often not fully explained, explored or proven - like making Romans 1 lean more towards discussing unnatural relations of angels and humans, instead of the often view idea of homosexuality - some of those points do open the door for further investigation down the line.

The main confusion with this book, for me, was how throughout the majority of it, she deals with just biblical and Hebrew texts. Then, all of a sudden she jumps into this long section dealing with the views of giants in Greek mythology. I felt that was a big disconnect and fail to see the relevance of it. While some of the terms and places may sound common to Hebrew writings, I cannot tell if she is putting the Hebrew writings on the same level as mythology or what exactly the purpose was for including such a large section of quotes from those sources. At one point, I almost wondered if I would find a reference to the giant in Jack and the Beanstalk mixed in there. Maybe there was a purpose for giving so much space to Greek mythology, but I did not find it fully explained as to why such fiction was incorporated in with a biblical discussion.

I found the early majority of the book very beneficial in piecing together so many texts to show a single joined story of sorts, but then it gets distracting, in the latter part tossing around with mythology, but returned somewhat at the end to the main story relating to biblical issues. Though the section on the origins of evil that deals with Adam and the fall, seems to again go off topic.

She goes into this whole section explaining how the term Adam in the original language starts off meaning a corporate entity and not a specific "male" but then a few verses later explains that it does become a term for a specific male person. Interesting language tip to a degree, but seemingly unrelated, and ultimately of no real purpose to the story. I mean, just because it starts off as a corporate term, it quickly becomes a single person term and the story continues about that single relationship, the fall, and a single lineage from it. The same can be said about the disconnected brief discussion on Eve and the Gnostic gospels.

There are a few such disjointed sections that appear here and there, but in the end, I found much of the content beneficial. I think a lot of the issues I find here with the presentation are the types we will continue to see with the further expanding of self published works like this. A professional publisher, proofreader and editor would have been a great benefit to fixing these presentation issue.

So, high rankings on much of the gems of information contained within, but minus one star for writing style and presentation.

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