Thought I can help contribute to this thread by sharing what I shared in another forum site (tasbeha.org) a comprehensive list of the quotes from Ancient Church fathers (pre-Chalcedonian) and other influential men who were for the most part of the pro-Angel theory:Those who have allowed the idea that angels can copulate with humans.
One can argue that perhaps, St. Jude as a first century Christian and disciple maybe have left us with a valuable insight to first century Christian thought, not necessarily about the Nephilim, but about the view of the Book of Enoch as acceptable Scripture, which contains in it a vivid picture of angels copulating with women.
In addition, we have the first century Jews, before St. Paul or the disciples and apostles wrote their writings:Philo of Alexandria (1st Century):
On the Giants
It is noteworthy here that Philo's passage shows somewhat an Origenistic sense, as if some angels being fallen have become incarnate, and taken to themselves women as wives, but others have also become preoccupied with them to tempt them in sins. I will quote a large section for this interesting read:http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/yonge/book9.html
"And when the angels of God saw the daughters of men that they were beautiful, they took unto themselves wives of all of them whom they chose." Those beings, whom other philosophers call demons, Moses usually calls angels; and they are souls hovering in the air. And let no one suppose, that what is here stated is a fable for it is necessarily true that the universe must be filled with living things in all its parts, since ever one of its primary and elementary portions contains its appropriate animals and such as are consistent with its nature;--the earth containing terrestrial animals, the sea and the rivers containing aquatic animals, and the fire such as are born in the fire (but it is said that such as these last are found chiefly in Macedonia), and the heaven containing the stars: for these also are entire souls pervading the universe, being unadulterated and divine, inasmuch as they move in a circle which is the kind of motion most akin to the mind, for every one of them is the parent mind.Josephus (1st Century):Antiquities of the Jews, book 1, chapter 3, paragraph 1
It is therefore necessary that the air also should be full of living beings. And these beings are invisible to us, inasmuch as the air itself is not visible to mortal sight. But it does not follow, because our sight is incapable of perceiving the forms of souls, that for that reason there are no souls in the air; but it follows of necessity that they must be comprehended by the mind, in order that like may be contemplated by like. Since what shall we say? Must we not say that these animals which are terrestrial or aquatic live in air and spirit? What? Are not pestilential afflictions accustomed to exist when the air is tainted or corrupted, as if that were the cause of all such assuming vitality? Again, when the air is free from all taint and innocent, such as it is especially wont to be when the north wind prevails, does not the imbibing of a purer air tend to a more vigorous and more lasting duration of life? It is then natural that that medium by which all other animals, whether aquatic of terrestrial, are vivified should itself be empty and destitute of souls? On the contrary, even if all other animals were barren, the air by itself would be bound to be productive of life, having received from the great Creator the seeds of vitality by his especial favour.
Some souls, therefore, have descended into bodies, and others have not thought worthy to approach any one of the portions of the earth; and these, when hallowed and surrounded by the ministrations of the father, the Creator has been accustomed to employ, as hand-maidens and servants in the administration of mortal affairs. And they having descended into the body as into a river, at one time are carried away and swallowed up by the voracity of a most violent whirlpool; and' another time, striving with all their power to resist its impetuosity, they at first swim on the top of it and afterwards fly back to the place from which they started have been taught some kind of sublime philosophy, meditating, from beginning to end, on dying to the life of the body, in order to obtain an inheritance of the incorporeal and imperishable life, which is to be enjoyed in the presence of the uncreate and everlasting God. But those, which are swallowed up in the whirlpool, are the souls of those other men who have disregarded wisdom, giving themselves up to the pursuit of unstable things regulated by fortune alone, not one of which is referred to the most excellent portion of us, the soul or the mind; but all rather to the dead corpse connected with us, that is to the body, or to things which are even more lifeless than that, such as glory, and money, and offices, and honours, and all other things which, by those who do not keep their eyes fixed on what is really beautiful, are fashioned and endowed with apparent vitality by the deceit of vain opinion.
If, therefore, you consider that souls, and demons, and angels are things differing indeed in name, but not identical in reality, you will then be able to discard that most heavy burden, superstition. But as men in general speak of good and evil demons, and in like manner of good and evil souls, so also do they speak of angels, looking upon some as worthy of a good appellation, and calling them ambassadors of man to God, and of God to man, and sacred and holy on account of this blameless and most excellent office; others, again, you will not err if you look upon as unholy and unworthy of any address. And the expression used by the writer of the psalm, in the following verse, testifies to the truth of my assertion, for he says, "He sent upon them the fury of His wrath, anger, and rage, and affliction, and he sent evil angels among them." These are the wicked who, assuming the name of angels, not being acquainted with the daughters of right reason, that is with the sciences and the virtues, but which pursue the mortal descendants of mortal men, that is the pleasures, which can confer no genuine beauty, which is perceived by the intellect alone, but only a bastard sort of elegance of form, by means of which the outward sense is beguiled; and they do not all take all the daughters in marriage, but some of them have selected some of that innumerable company to be their wives; some choosing them by the sight, and Others by the ear, others again being influenced by the sense of taste, or by the belly, and some even by the pleasures below the belly; many also have laid hold of those the abode of which is fixed at a great distance, putting in action various desires among one another. For, of necessity, the choices of all the various pleasures are various, since different pleasures are established in different places.
Now this posterity of Seth continued to esteem God as the Lord of the universe, and to have an entire regard to virtue, for seven generations; but in process of time they were perverted, and forsook the practices of their forefathers; and did neither pay those honors to God which were appointed them, nor had they any concern to do justice towards men. But for what degree of zeal they had formerly shown for virtue, they now showed by their actions a double degree of wickedness, whereby they made God to be their enemy. For many angels of God accompanied with women, and begat sons that proved unjust, and despisers of all that was good, on account of the confidence they had in their own strength; for the tradition is, that these men did what resembled the acts of those whom the Grecians call giants. But Noah was very uneasy at what they did; and being displeased at their conduct, persuaded them to change their dispositions and their acts for the better: but seeing they did not yield to him, but were slaves to their wicked pleasures, he was afraid they would kill him, together with his wife and children, and those they had married; so he departed out of that land.
Then the Christian fathers:Tertullian (2nd Century):The Five Books Against Marcion, Book V, Chapter XVIIIhttp://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf03.v.iv.vi.xviii.html
But “the spiritual wickedness” did not signify the Creator, because of the apostle’s additional description, “in heavenly places;” for the apostle was quite aware that “spiritual wickedness” had been at work in heavenly places, when angels were entrapped into sin by the daughters of menOn Idolatry, Chapter IXhttp://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf03.iv.iv.ix.html
One proposition I lay down: that those angels, the deserters from God, the lovers of women, were likewise the discoverers of this curious art, on that account also condemned by God.On Prayer, Chapter XXIIhttp://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf03.vi.iv.xxii.html
For indeed it is “on account of the angels” that he saith women must be veiled, because on account of “the daughters of men” angels revolted from God.St. Irenaeus (2nd Century) Against Heresies, Book IV, Chapter XXXVI:http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf01.ix.vi.xxxvii.html#ix.vi.xxxvii-p19.2
Since the Son of God is always one and the same, He gives to those who believe on Him a well of water [springing up] to eternal life, but He causes the unfruitful fig-tree immediately to dry up; and in the days of Noah He justly brought on the deluge for the purpose of extinguishing that most infamous race of men then existent, who could not bring forth fruit to God, since the angels that sinned had commingled with them, and [acted as He did] in order that He might put a check upon the sins of these men, but [that at the same time] He might preserve the archetype, the formation of Adam.Against Heresies, Book IV, Chapter XVI:http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf01.ix.vi.xvii.html#ix.vi.xvii-p12.1
Enoch, too, pleasing God, without circumcision, discharged the office of God’s legate to the angels although he was a man, and was translated, and is preserved until now as a witness of the just judgment of God, because the angels when they had transgressed fell to the earth for judgment, but the man who pleased [God] was translated for salvation.St. Justin Martyr (2nd Century)The Second Apology, Chapter Vhttp://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf01.viii.iii.v.html
But if this idea take possession of some one, that if we acknowledge God as our helper, we should not, as we say, be oppressed and persecuted by the wicked; this, too, I will solve. God, when He had made the whole world, and subjected things earthly to man, and arranged the heavenly elements for the increase of fruits and rotation of the seasons, and appointed this divine law—for these things also He evidently made for man—committed the care of men and of all things under heaven to angels whom He appointed over them. But the angels transgressed this appointment, and were captivated by love of women, and begat children who are those that are called demons; and besides, they afterwards subdued the human race to themselves, partly by magical writings, and partly by fears and the punishments they occasioned, and partly by teaching them to offer sacrifices, and incense, and libations, of which things they stood in need after they were enslaved by lustful passions; and among men they sowed murders, wars, adulteries, intemperate deeds, and all wickedness. Whence also the poets and mythologists, not knowing that it was the angels and those demons who had been begotten by them that did these things to men, and women, and cities, and nations, which they related, ascribed them to god himself, and to those who were accounted to be his very offspring, and to the offspring of those who were called his brothers, Neptune and Pluto, and to the children again of these their offspring. For whatever name each of the angels had given to himself and his children, by that name they called them.Athenagorus (2nd Century)A Plea for the Christians, Chapter XXIVhttp://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf02.v.ii.xxiv.html#v.ii.xxiv-p4.1
Just as with men, who have freedom of choice as to both virtue and vice (for you would not either honour the good or punish the bad, unless vice and virtue were in their own power; and some are diligent in the matters entrusted to them by you, and others faithless), so is it among the angels. Some, free agents, you will observe, such as they were created by God, continued in those things for which God had made and over which He had ordained them; but some outraged both the constitution of their nature and the government entrusted to them: namely, this ruler of matter and its various forms, and others of those who were placed about this first firmament (you know that we say nothing without witnesses, but state the things which have been declared by the prophets); these fell into impure love of virgins, and were subjugated by the flesh, and he became negligent and wicked in the management of the things entrusted to him. Of these lovers of virgins, therefore, were begotten those who are called giants.St. Clement of Alexandria (2nd to 3rd Century)The Instructor, Book III, Chapter IIhttp://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf02.vi.iii.iii.ii.html#vi.iii.iii.ii-p37.1
Heaven delights in two charioteers, by whom alone the chariot of fire is guided. For the mind is carried away by pleasure; and the unsullied principle of reason, when not instructed by the Word, slides down into licentiousness, and gets a fall as the due reward of its transgression. An example of this are the angels, who renounced the beauty of God for a beauty which fades, and so fell from heaven to earth.Archelaus (3rd Century)The Acts of the Disputation with the Heresiarch Manes, Chapter XXXIIhttp://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf06.vii.iii.xxxi.html
Hence also certain of the angels, refusing to submit themselves to the commandment of God, resisted His will; and one of them indeed fell like a flash of lightning upon the earth, while others, harassed by the dragon, sought their felicity in intercourse with the daughters of men, and thus brought on themselves the merited award of the punishment of eternal fire.Commodianus (3rd Century)The Instructions of Commodianus, Chapter IIIhttp://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf04.v.ii.iv.html
When Almighty God, to beautify the nature of the world, willed that that earth should be visited by angels, when they were sent down they despised His laws. Such was the beauty of women, that it turned them aside; so that, being contaminated, they could not return to heaven. Rebels from God, they uttered words against Him. Then the Highest uttered His judgment against them; and from their seed giants are said to have been born. By them arts were made known in the earth, and they taught the dyeing of wool, and everything which is done; and to them, when they died, men erected images. But the Almighty, because they were of an evil seed, did not approve that, when dead, they should be brought back from death. Whence wandering they now subvert many bodies, and it is such as these especially that ye this day worship and pray to as gods.Lactantius (3rd to 4th Century)The Divine Institutes, The Epitome, Chapter XXVIIhttp://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf07.iii.ii.viii.xxiii.html
But when God saw this, He sent His angels to instruct the race of men, and to protect them from all evil. He gave these a command to abstain from earthly things, lest, being polluted by any taint, they should be deprived of the honour of angels. But that wily accuser, while they tarried among men, allured these also to pleasures, so that they might defile themselves with women. Then, being condemned by the sentence of God, and cast forth on account of their sins, they lost both the name and substance of angels. Thus, having become ministers of the devil, that they might have a solace of their ruin, they betook themselves to the ruining of men, for whose protection they had come.St. Methodius (3rd to 4th Century)
Photios of Constantinople in his Bibliotheca, 9th Century documents a summary From the Discourse of the Resurrection, Part IIIhttp://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf06.xi.v.iii.i.html
He says, as was said also by Athenagoras, that the devil is a spirit, made by God, in the neighbourhood of matter, as of course the rest of the angels are, and that he was entrusted with the oversight of matter, and the forms of matter. For, according to the original constitution of angels, they were made by God, in His providence, for the care of the universe; in order that, while God exercises a perfect and general supervision over the whole, and keeps the supreme authority and power over all—for upon Him their existence depends—the angels appointed for this purpose take charge of particulars. Now the rest of them remained in the positions for which God made and appointed them; but the devil was insolent, and having conceived envy of us, behaved wickedly in the charge committed to him; as also did those who subsequently were enamoured of fleshly charms, and had illicit intercourse with the daughters of men. For to them also, as was the case with men, God granted the possession of their own choice. And how is this to be taken?Eusebius of Caesarea (3rd to 4th Century)Preparations, book 5, chapter 4http://www.ccel.org/ccel/pearse/morefathers/files/eusebius_pe_05_book5.htm
And this argument is still further confirmed by Plutarch, in the passage where he says that the mythical narratives told as concerning gods are certain tales about daemons, and the deeds of Giants and Titans celebrated in song among the Greeks are also stories about daemons, intended to suggest a new phase of thought.St. Hilary of Poitiers (4th Century)
Of this kind then perhaps were the statements in the Sacred Scripture concerning the giants before the Mood, and those concerning their progenitors, of whom it is said, 'And when the angels of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair, they took unto them wives of all that they chose,' and of these were born 'the giants the men of renown which were of old.'
For one might say that these daemons are those giants, and that their spirits have been deified by the subsequent generations of men, and that their battles, and their quarrels among themselves, and their wars are the subjects of these legends that are told as of gods. Plutarch indeed, in the discourse which he composed On Isis and the gods of the Egyptians, speaks as follows word for word:
I could not find a text by St. Hilary, but it is believed that this man, who was an ardent supporter of St. Athanasius against the Arians, believed the Nephilim to be sons of angels according to this thread I found online:http://www.christianforums.com/t5411386-15/
Where the poster quotes from this book:http://www.amazon.com/Enoch-Commentary-Chapters-Hermeneia-Historical/dp/0800660749/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1222410810&sr=1-2
In his commentary on Ps 133:3 (Tract, super Psal. 132.6, CSEL 22:689), the bishop of Poitiers (356-367)106 correctly identifies Hermon as a mountain in Phoenicia. He knows of an unidentified book that mentions that "angels, desiring the daughters of men, when they descended from heaven, gathered on this mountain Hermon, at its peak" (angeli concupiscentes filias hominum, cum de caelo descenderent, in hunc montem Hermon maxime excelsum conuenerint). He also knows that the name means "anathema" but gives no details as to why, and he adds that in the present day Gentiles venerate the mountain with profane religion and thus attest the meaning of its name, that is, their worship is anathema. The passage is striking because, different from all other Christian writers mentioned above, Hilary mentions the association of the watchers story with the peak of Mount Hermon.St. Ambrose of Milan (4th Century)On Noah 4.8
, quoted from ACCS Genesis 1-11, p. 126
"The giants (Nephilim) were on the earth in those days." The author of the divine Scripture does not mean that those giants must be considered, according to the tradition of poets, as sons of the earth but asserts that those whom he defines with such a name because of the extraordinary size of their body were generated by angels and women. And let us see whether by any chance the men who only took care of their body and not of their soul are familiar to the Nephilim and at the same time those giants who were born from the earth according to the tales of the poets and despised the authority of the gods by confiding in the hugeness of their body. Must we really consider as different from giants those men who, even though they are composed of body and soul, despise the more precious good of the soul, that is, the activity of the mind, and show themselves to be imitators of this flesh, as if confirming that they were heirs of their own mother's foolishness. They only struggle in vain when they believe that they will conquer the heaven with their bold desires and their earthly activities. On the contrary, by choosing a lower way of life and despising the higher life, they are condemned with greater severity since they are guilty of voluntary sins. Nemesius of Emesa (4th Century)On the Nature of Man, chapter 41(xli).58 Why We Were Given Free-Will
, quoted from The Library of Christian Classics: Cyril of Jerusalem and Nemesius of Emesa, edited by William Telfer, p. 417:
Of the incorporeal beings, only angels fell away, and not all of them, but some only, that inclined to things below, and set their desire on things of earth, withdrawing themselves from their relations with things above, yea and with God.St. Jerome (4th to 5th Century)Hebrew Questions on the book of Genesis, 6.4
, translated C.T.R. (Robert) Hayward, p. 37
Moreover there were giants on the earth in those days; and after these things, as the sons of God were accustomed to go into the daughters men, so they would breed with them. Those were the giants from of old, men called by name." In the Hebrew, it was following: "Falling ones" (that is "annaphilim") "were on the earth in those days. And after these things, when the sons of the gods used to go in to the daughters of men and breed with them, these were the mighty ones from the beginning, men called by name." Instead of "falling ones" or giants, Symmachus translated 'violent ones.' The name "falling ones is indeed fitting both for angels and for the offspring of the holy ones.Sulpitius Severus (4th to 5th Century)The Sacred History of Sulpitius Severus, Book I, Chapter IIhttp://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf211.ii.vi.i.ii.html
Seth begat Enos, Enos Cainan, Cainan Malaleel, Malaleel Jared, and Jared Enoch, who on account of his righteousness is said to have been translated by God. His son was called Mathusalam who begat Lamech; from whom Noah was descended, remarkable for his righteousness, and above all other mortals dear and acceptable to God. When by this time the human race had increased to a great multitude, certain angels, whose habitation was in heaven, were captivated by the appearance of some beautiful virgins, and cherished illicit desires after them, so much so, that falling beneath their own proper nature and origin, they left the higher regions of which they were inhabitants, and allied themselves in earthly marriages. These angels gradually spreading wicked habits, corrupted the human family, and from their alliance giants are said to have sprung, for the mixture with them of beings of a different nature, as a matter of course, gave birth to monsters.The following Church fathers also seemed to have allowed the idea that the Sons of God were angels, but were open to other interpretations:
Julius Africanus (2nd to 3rd Century)
allows for either Sons of God or angels of men, and he also alludes to different manuscripts:The Extant Fragments of the Five Books of the Chronography of Julius Africanus, On the Mythical Chronology of the Egyptians and Chaldeans, Part IIhttp://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf06.v.v.ii.html
When men multiplied on the earth, the angels of heaven came together with the daughters of men. In some copies I found “the sons of God.” What is meant by the Spirit, in my opinion, is that the descendants of Seth are called the sons of God on account of the righteous men and patriarchs who have sprung from him, even down to the Saviour Himself; but that the descendants of Cain are named the seed of men, as having nothing divine in them, on account of the wickedness of their race and the inequality of their nature, being a mixed people, and having stirred the indignation of God. But if it is thought that these refer to angels, we must take them to be those who deal with magic and jugglery, who taught the women the motions of the stars and the knowledge of things celestial, by whose power they conceived the giants as their children, by whom wickedness came to its height on the earth, until God decreed that the whole race of the living should perish in their impiety by the deluge.Origen (3rd Century)
said that if taken literally, it's essentially referring to angels, but in reality, this is an allegory to teach a lessonContra Celcus, Chapter LVhttp://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf04.vi.ix.v.lv.html#vi.ix.v.lv-p3.1
But, that we may grant to him in a spirit of candour what he has not discovered in the contents of the book of Genesis, that “the sons of God, seeing the daughters of men, that they were fair, took to them wives of all whom they chose,” we shall nevertheless even on this point persuade those who are capable of understanding the meaning of the prophet, that even before us there was one who referred this narrative to the doctrine regarding souls, which became possessed with a desire for the corporeal life of men, and this in metaphorical language, he said, was termed “daughters of men.” But whatever may be the meaning of the “sons of God desiring to possess the daughters of men,” it will not at all contribute to prove that Jesus was not the only one who visited mankind as an angel, and who manifestly became the Saviour and benefactor of all those who depart from the flood of wickedness. Then, mixing up and confusing whatever he had at any time heard, or had anywhere found written—whether held to be of divine origin among Christians or not—he adds: “The sixty or seventy who descended together were cast under the earth, and were punished with chains.” And he quotes (as from the book of Enoch, but without naming it) the following: “And hence it is that the tears of these angels are warm springs,”—a thing neither mentioned nor heard of in the Churches of God! For no one was ever so foolish as to materialize into human tears those which were shed by the angels who had come down from heaven. And if it were right to pass a jest upon what is advanced against us in a serious spirit by Celsus, we might observe that no one would ever have said that hot springs, the greater part of which are fresh water, were the tears of the angels, since tears are saltish in their nature, unless indeed the angels, in the opinion of Celsus, shed tears which are fresh.Alexander of Lycopolis(5th Century)
, same interpretation as Origen, and even calls this a "fable"Of the Manicheans, Chapter XXVhttp://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf06.viii.iii.xxv.html
They abstain also from living things. If, indeed, the reason of their abstinence were other than it is, it ought not to be too curiously investigated. But if they do so for this reason, that the divine virtue is more or less absent or present to them, this their meaning is ridiculous. For if plants be more material, how is it in accordance with reason to use that which is inferior for food and sustenance? or, if there be more of the divine virtue in them, how are things of this sort useful as food, when the soul’s faculty of nourishing and making increase is more corporeal? Now in that they abstain from marriage and the rites of Venus, fearing lest by the succession of the race the divine virtue should dwell more in matter, I wonder how in thinking so they allow of themselves? For if neither the providence of God suffices, both by generations and by those things which are always and in the same manner existent, to separate off the divine virtue from matter, what can the cunning and subtlety of Manichæus effect for that purpose? For assuredly by no giant’s co-operation does assistance come to God, in order by the removal of generations to make the retreat of the divine virtue from matter quick and speedy. But what the poets say about the giants is manifestly a fable. For those who lay it down about these, bring forward such matters in allegories, by a species of fable hiding the majesty of their discourse; as, for instance, when the Jewish history relates that angels came down to hold intercourse with the daughters of men; for this saying signifies that the nutritive powers of the soul descended from heaven to earth. But the poets who say that they, when they had emerged in full armour from the earth, perished immediately after they stirred up rebellion against the gods, in order that they might insinuate the frail and quickly-perishing constitution of the body, adorn their poetry in this way for the sake of refreshing the soul by the strangeness of the occurrence. But these, understanding nothing of all this, wheresoever they can get hold of a paralogism from whatsoever quarter it comes, greedily seize on it as a God-send, and strive with all their arts to overturn truth by any means.
I understand that these were the Church fathers used to support the idea that the Nephilim were sons of Seth, but I didn't get the chance to look them up, but these are usually the fathers listed for support in order of century, although Remnkemi added that he couldn't find any of the pro-Sethite hypotheses from any of the fathers except Sts. Augustine and John Cassian:
St. Ephraim (4th Century)
St. Cyril of Jerusalem (4th Century)
St. John Chrysostom (4th Century)
St. Augustine (4th to 5th Century)
St. John Cassian (5th Century)
According to a post I read a while ago, it said that Fr. Seraphim Rose mentioned St. Athanasius (4th Century), St. Cyril (5th Century), Gregory Palamas (14th Century)
I find this blog interesting as well, as it lays a chart of who believed which hypothesis, in chronological order. Notable in the list is St. John Chrysostom and St. Ephraim the Syrian:http://midwestapologetics.org/blog/?p=458
It's clear therefore that up until the 4th Century that if taken literally, all Church fathers agreed that it can or does mean angels had intercourse with human women.