The Nephilim in the Old Testament were the offspring of the “sons of God” and the “daughters of men” before the Deluge, according to Genesis 6:1-4. Many early translations of the OT, as well as the King James version, preferred to translate the original Hebrew word as ‘giants’.
The World Heritage Encyclopedia offers a range of theories regarding the etymology of the word(a). Wikipedia has further background information on the subject(c).
In more recent times it was the work of the late Zechariah Sitchin that revived interest in the Nephilim, the Anunnaki and the existence of extraterrestrial visitors in ancient times. Unlike the more than dubious claims of Erich von Däniken, Sitchin’s ideas appeared to have a more reliable scientific foundation. However, this foundation was based Sitchin’s own interpretation of Sumerian texts, which has been heavily criticised(b).
In 2019, Ryan Pitterson, tried to revive the idea of a connection between Atlantis and the biblical Nephilim, but failed miserably. He is the author of Judgement of the Nephilim , which he claims to be “the first comprehensive biblical study of the nephilim.” Promotional interviews for the book gave him his fifteen minutes of fame, which is more than this book deserves.
Rev. Joseph Cook was a late 19th century American lecturer who endeavoured to support religious teaching with science! He had studied in Germany and at Harvard and lectured in New England and old England. Although popular, he did have his critics(a).
Jason Colavito has drawn attention(b) to Cook’s 1883 book Advanced Thought in Europe, Asia, Australia, etc., in which he broadly follows Donnelly and sees the Azores as the remnants of Atlantis, which in turn was the hyperdiffusionist source for the world’s great cultures.
An Aryan Atlantis was proposed by Ignatius Donnelly in his famous 1882 book(a), selectively employing biblical texts and a variety of mythologies to support his view.
Donnelly also promoted the popular 19th century idea that India was subjected to an invasion by Aryans from the northwest. This idea is still debated today with opponents of the idea, such as the American-born Vedic scholar, David Frawley, who see the Aryans, not as invaders but indigenous Indians. Graham Hancock quotes Frawley extensively in support of his ancient civilisation views.
The term ‘Aryan’ was also used to describe one of Blavatsky’s imaginary ‘root races’.
Today the term is primarily used to describe the family of languages known as Indo-European. Unfortunately, the word has also a dark side to its history, with its arrogation by the Nazis to describe their ‘master race’.
Jack Countryman is the author of many books with Christian themes. He also wrote Atlantis and the Seven Stars in which he expressed qualified support for some of Ignatius Donnelly’s theories,*although, he identifies Atlantis as the biblical Tarshish.
However, for me, his book is marred by his promotion of the idea of genetic manipulation by extraterrestrials from the Pleiades (the seven stars in the book title).*
Bananas were introduced into the Atlantis debate by Ignatius Donnelly who adapted the views of Otto Kuntze and questioned[021.57] whether “it was more reasonable to suppose that the plantain or banana was cultivated by the people of Atlantis and carried by their civilised agricultural colonies to the east and the west?” Over a century later it was still being suggested that only the existence of Atlantis could explain global spread of the seedless, sexless fruit that we enjoy today(a). David Hatcher Childress in his Lost Cities of Ancient Lemuria and the Pacific suggested that ancient genetic engineering led to the banana we have today. Apparently, Theosophical belief is that “the banana was developed from a melon on the lost continent of Atlantis.”(d) Not to be outdone, Erich von Däniken claimed[0272.202] that the banana has been brought to Earth by extraterrestrials(e)! At the other end of the belief spectrum, some creationists claim that bananas are proof of God’s intelligent design of the natural world because ‘the banana and the hand are perfectly made, one for the other’!”(f)
A more sober view of the diffusion of the banana from south-east Asia is to be found on the academia.edu website(b).
*(a) http://frontiers-of-anthropology.blogspot.ie/search/label/Bananas (link broken July 2018) See: Archive 3586*
Volney Byron Cushing (1856-1916) was an American lecturer who had two interests, decrying the evils of alcohol and promoting the reality of Atlantis. With regard to temperance, Cushing was an active member of the Prohibition Party which has existed since 1869. In connection with the latter, he frequently delivered a lecture entitled The Lost Atlantis, the text of which seems to be lost. He apparently echoed many of Donnelly’s ideas, as well as the possibility of an Atlantic landbridge.
John Thomas Short (1850-1883) was the American author of The North Americans of Antiquity written two years before Donnelly’s ground-breaking publication. He draws on some of the same material as Donnelly, such as the similarity of flora and fauna on both sides of the Atlantic as well as the then newly discovered Mid-Atlantic Ridge and concluded (chap.XI) that Atlantis had been located on the MAR.
M. De Lopateki was an occasional contributor at the end of the 19th century to the now defunct Los Angeles Herald. In an article(a) on January 5th 1896 entitled “True Atlantis” in which he disagreed with details of Ignatius Donnelly’s then recently published, Atlantis. Donnelly proposed the Azores as remnants of Atlantis, while Lopateki argued that the total lack of any traces on the islands of a ‘high culture’ would seem to contradict Donnelly.
However, Lopateki proposed that the civilisations of Mexico and Central America were superior candidates for the title of ‘Atlantis’.
José Viera y Clavijo (1731-1813) was a Catholic priest and considered to be one of the most outstanding Canarians of his day, who proposed in 1772/3 in a four-volume work on the history of the Canaries that the archipelago together with the Azores and Madeira were remnants of Atlantis, more than a century before Ignatius Donnelly advocated similar ideas.
Hyperdiffusion with Atlantis at its centre was argued at great length by Ignatius Donnelly when he proposed Atlantis as the mother culture, located in the Atlantic. Through colonisation and migration their civilisation was brought to the Americas and the Mediterranean, particularly Egypt. The idea received widespread support at the time and has persisted until today(a). A similar proposal was made by James Churchward in connection with his Pacific island of Mu.
However, even earlier, in the seventeenth century, Olof Rudbeck “purported to prove that Sweden was Atlantis, the cradle of civilization, and Swedish the original language of Adam from which Latin and Hebrew had evolved.”(i)
Since Atlantis in the Atlantic is considered by many to be highly improbable and Mu only existed in Churchward’s imagination, a more likely explanation is that diverse ideas emerged independently in different locations, possibly around the same time. These developments then diffused through trade and migration in various directions, sometimes returning in an improved format. The result is that today we are finding that most ancient civilisations show evidence of cultural influences from more than one source.
Richard Cassaro and Jim Allen have both published online large collections of images(b)(c)(d) that clearly demonstrate widespread diffusion. This is particularly so in the case of South America where influences from both east and west are clearly evident. While it is regularly claimed that Egypt influenced South American civilisations it is obvious that Asian inspiration was equally, if not solely, at work. The existence of pyramids in both Egypt and Mesoamerica is put forward as evidence of contact between them. However, the problem is that the American pyramids were constructed hundreds if not thousands of years later than the Egyptian ones. However, in spite of this separation by time and distance, the Egyptians and the Aztecs also shared feathered-serpent deities(g)! What appears to be overlooked is the fact that the Chinese pyramids are more like Mesoamerican examples and are dated to the second half of the first millennium BC, again closer to the development of pyramids in Mesoamerica.
An even more unusual hyperdiffusionist opinion was expressed by the Argentine paleontologist, Florintino Ameghino (1854-1911), who thought that mankind originated in South America(h).
A 1986 paper(f) by Ben Urish entitled Cultural Diffusion should be read in this connection..
(g) See: Archive 2827