“The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men, and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown.”(Genesis 6:4)
The Fallen Angels Hypothesis
The Nephilim were the offspring of “the sons of God” and “the daughters of men”.
Many biblical scholars and laypersons believe that these “sons of God” were fallen angels or demons.
Here’s an argument for this position (position one): http://bible.org/seriespage/sons-god-and-daughters-men-genesis-61-8.
Others biblical scholars suggest that “sons of God” is better translated as “kings”, or “sons of nobles”, or that the phrase “sons of God” actually refers to the “godly descendants of Seth”. Adherents to this position tend to assert the Nephilim weren’t necessarily giants, just bad dudes who were taller than everybody else. Here’s an argument for the more “earthly” position. http://www.apologeticspress.org/rr/reprints/Sons-of-God-in-Genesis-6.pdf
Let’s assume you believe in position one, i.e. the Nephilim were the offspring of fallen angels and “daughters of men”. Even if you accept the notion that there is such a thing as “spiritual warfare” and that we are fighting against “principalities” and against “hosts of wickedness in heavenly places” (Ephesians 6), the idea that these spiritual beings mated with humans and produced a race of superbeings is probably not something you’re ready to put on a T-shirt or a bumper sticker. Nevertheless, it is a position that, given certain interpretive presuppositions, is completely sensible and rational.
Ancient Astronaut Theory and The Nephilim:
Many proponents of the Ancient Astronaut theory believe that the Nephilim are actually the offspring of powerful alien beings and “daughters of men”. Due to the biblical authors’ “mis”-understanding of the technology these aliens used to move between their world and ours, the authors “mis”-interpreted the interstellar travelers as deities or “sons of God” or fallen angels.
This position, given what we can “know” about the actual events which inspired the biblical story, seems as possible or maybe even as plausible as position one….or does it? Is the belief in supernatural entities like demons or fallen angels any more supportable, rational, or sensible than the belief in ancient astronauts?
So were the “sons of God” fallen angels or demons? Or where these mysterious beings extraterrestrial visitors from another planet or galaxy?
(it’s too easy to just say it’s all B.S…..of course it could all just be made up. But if that’s what you think you probably stopped reading a little while ago….or maybe you like the whole hermeneutic rivalry between these two positions just for kicks….but I digress)