1When human beings began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them,
2the sons of God saw that the daughters of humans were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose.
3Then the Lord said, “My Spirit will not contend with humans forever, for they are mortal; their days will be a hundred and twenty years.”
4The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God went to the daughters of humans and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown.
Hypothesis - Adam and Eve created exactly as described in a region already populated by naturally evolved humanity (5500BC). Humans, for a period of roughly 2000 years, coexisting with generations of beings who all live ten times longer than "mortal" humans. Lifespans that gradually decline each generation, as written, as they interbreed with "mortal" humans.
This idea stems from those first few verses from Genesis 6 that speak of two groups, the "sons of God"' and the "daughters of humans" inter-breeding. And where God calls humans "mortal" in comparison.
Then there's that curious line about the Nephilim, presumably the off-spring of this pairing. Mentioned as if assumed by the author these figures would be familiar to the reader. You know, the "heroes of old, men of renown".
The gods of Ancient Mythology
Polytheism wasn't universal, though it certainly seems so from the biblical perspective as it was universal among all the peripheral characters that line the story. The Sumerians, Egyptians, Hittites, etc.
Actually polytheism is a very localized phenomenon. All right there in that region of the world. All other human populations throughout the tens of thousands of years that humans have inhabited this planet held more of a concept of animism if anything.
Polytheism is generally thought of as a natural kind of psychological progression of "civilized" man attempting to make sense out of what he doesn't understand. When really it's an unusual turn from the vast majority of human cultures. And not something it seems would likely occur psychologically half a dozen different times totally independently of one another, each in its own unique language and culture, yet share such commonality in the types of gods they "imagined".
Each of the handful of advanced civilizations that sprung up in that part of the world in that age share a similar history. Fantastical stories about male/female gods in their 'ancient' past who lived among them. Interacted with them. Sometimes married and interbred with them.
In the case of the Sumerians, the earliest and nearest to the biblical narrative, they themselves directly say their civilization was the result of a god showing up and gifting them the decrees of civilization (Mes).
They say they were taught. And they're incredibly specific about it. Also, as a side note, when the Sumerians created images of these gods standing next to Sumerians, they were roughly twice as tall. Similar to what the spies report back from Hebron in Numbers.
32 And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, The land, through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of a great stature.
33 And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.
Biblical Story in this Context
For the biblical narrative in this context, "immortal" beings would have existed all throughout the region from Adam through to around the time of Abraham. Abraham would have lived during a period when the last of these long-living beings would have been dying out. The "there's only one God" message he was preaching was because everyone around him was worshiping the immortal family of Adam that had ruled the region for generations. The "sons of God".
Ridiculous, isn't it? Can't be true. Can you tell me why?
What do you think? Am I totally off the rails with this? If you can give me a good solid reason to dismiss this and forget about it that would be great. It's always been my weird, sometimes embarrassing little secret alternate worldview that I hold that no one knows what to make of. And I say worldview because I'm beginning to believe it.