Neanderthal and Primitive Man in the Bible

Neanderthal in the ancient Scriptures

Scriptural Accounts of Neanderthal Man

Intelligence     Physique     Thumbs     Language

Communities     DNA      Cro-Magnon


Neanderthal, an extinct race of man, who quite possibly could be the "heroes of old, men of renown" of which Genesis speaks.

Neanderthals were originally thought to be a brutish ancestor of modern man in the hypothetical evolutionary chain, an intermediate stage between human and apes. Scientists are at odds over whether neanderthal is actually an ancestor of Homo spaiens at all or simply another branch of humanity with a common ancestor.

Mounting evidence tends to support the theory that they also were not the dim-witted ape-like cavemen that scientists originally depicted. They had comparable, and possibly greater intellectual capacity in some respects, than modern man.

Although the greater intellectual capacity is open to debate, the greater physical strength is not. “Neandertals were about 30% larger than an average modern man and of great{er} muscular strength. [*5].

They were bigger, stronger, and possibly the intellectual equals of their Homo Sapien counterparts, with whom they co-existed for many thousands of years. The last known surviving pockets of Neanderthal are from the Middle East, The Biblical regions. In the written legends handed down to us in the Bible and other ancient texts, the Neanderthal/Nephilim were a race which our ancestors held in both great fear and respect.

Neanderthal Legends

In Biblical accounts, other races of man are fairly common. Known as Nephilim, Rephaim, Anakites they were considered "giants" by the Hebrews. The book of Ezekiel mentions a race known as the Gammadin which were a Nation of dwarfs. The Midrash states that a tribe known as the Katforim were also pygmy like dwarfs. Very short Troglodytes were later discovered in excavations in Gezer that some believe corroborates the Biblical accounts of these Gammadin pygmies. In multiople instances fossil remains of extremely large humans, as well as human like Neanderthals, Cro Magnon and even Denisovan have been discovered.

In the Book of Genesis we have the story of Esau the prodigal son of Isaac and fraternal twin brother of Jacob. Esau was coated in a thick red fur. "Genesis 25:25 The first to come out was red, and his whole body was like a hairy garment ..." . The Biblical account describes Esau as having the traits of a primitive hunter gatherer, and not as intelligent as his Brother Jacob. Could Esau have been the result of a recessive gene, a throwback to our primal ancestry ?

In other ancient scriptures such as those of the Hindus, we have races of ape men known as the vandara working as slaves to homo sapiens in some instances, and engaging in battle with our ancestors in others. Even Islam has accounts of non homo sapien men. "...other apes, and even bore all kinds of weapons. ... Three apes were immediately chosen as ambassadors to negotiate with Solomon. He received them kindly, and inquired to which class of apes they belonged, and how it came to pass that they were so skilled in all human arts. The ambassadors replied, "Be not astonished at us, for we are descended from men...." [*8]

The Neanderthals, Cro Magnon and or other races of the Human family may well have been the "Nephilim Giants" of which Biblical accounts speak so prolifically.

One Biblical passage which is used to support the analogy of The Nephilim to Giants is Numbers 13:33. The logic behind this supposition is flawed and is generally taken of of context.

We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them." ... However when taken in its proper context, the passage is actually a fabrication, a "bad report" spread among the Israelites.

Numbers 13: 30 to 33 - 30 Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, "We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it."31 But the men who had gone up with him said, "We can't attack those people; they are stronger than we are." 32 And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, "The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size.

Legend Building

These passages from the book of Numbers, although they do not support the existence of ancient giants, they do not disprove it either. It does however shed light on the legend building process. The people of the land they wished to take possession of were very tall / big in comparison to the Israelite's, but a comparison of a grasshopper to a man is an exaggeration that legends and myths are made of.

Another passage used to support the Biblical Giant synopsis is Genesis 6:4 which in the King James version of the Bible states - There were giants in the earth in those days.

The interpretation of Genesis 6:4 is subject to various intrepretations, some possibly derived from mistranslation and some from fuzzy logic. The Nephilim were not the ridiculously tall Giants one at first envisions, they were huge in the sense of their body mass and capabilities. The Legends of them are extensive given the distance in time we are attempting to draw upon.

Legendary accounts, are, without exception exaggerations, and misinterpretations. The fact remains however that many ancient trans-cultural middle Eastern texts , both Biblical and otherwise speak of the Nephilim / Sons of Anak who were men, but not ordinary men. They were "the heroes of old, men of renown" as per Genesis 6:4.

Esau - the prodigal son of Isaac and brother of Jacob may quite have possibly been evidence of a recessive gene inherent in homo sapiens that bore a man with neanderthal traits - Genesis 25:25 The first to come out was red, and his whole body was like a hairy garment; so they named him Esau [Hairy]. Esau had many other traits that we would commonly associate with primitive man. See - Ape Men of Ancient Legends

Every time a tale is retold it changes just a bit. Legends have a strong tendency to distort relevant facts, but in most cases the underlying foundation of the story has some basis in reality. The human tendency is to remember and retell things that make a strong impression and to forget things that don't impress us much at all.

There is also a tendency to exaggerate , glorify , idealize or vilify. As well as a natural tendency to simplify or edit.

After successive generations of stories being retold of these huge men with exceptional strength, these extraordinary men eventually become giants in height as well as mass and intelligence. They become the Neanderthal of "Collective memory" which the Legends have labeled Nephilim, anakite, and Rephaim giants - and that which science has labeled Neanderthal and possibly Cro-Magnon.

Neanderthal Intelligence

One great enigma of the Neanderthal is their brain size, they had a greater Brain to body weight capacity than modern Homo-Sapiens. Neanderthal brains were 13% larger than our own brain size, The average brain size is larger than the average modern human by almost 200 cubic centimeters.


Cro Magnon, Neanderthal and Modern Human Cranial capacities

The greater cranial capacity allowed large cerebral hemispheres.

Neanderthals were intelligent thinkers. However, despite their probable higher mental capacity archaeologists claim that they left no discernible permanent record of their presumed intelligence or culture.

Assuming the Neanderthal and the Nephilim are one and the same, they left an indelible impression upon Human History. They were kings and rulers of many lands in antiquity. Large segments of the The Old Testament recount a vicious bloody murderous genocidal conquest of the "promised Land" by the Hebrews. Og the king of Bashan was one of the Nephilim.

Deuteronomy 3:4 " At that time we took all his cities. There was not one of the sixty cities that we did not take from them—the whole region of Argob, Og's kingdom in Bashan. ... 6 We completely destroyed them, as we had done with Sihon king of Heshbon, destroying every city - men, women and children. .....3:11 (Only Og king of Bashan was left of the remnant of the Rephaites. His bed was made of iron and was more than thirteen feet long and six feet wide.

Neanderthal Physique

Fossil records indicate that the Neanderthal were physically powerful and war-scarred race substantially more muscular than Homo Sapiens. They had extremely muscular chests, longer bodies, but shorter legs. Some fossil specimens , have hip sockets more splayed than modern humans.   A Neanderthal, partially because of this greater muscle mass, would weigh about 20-25 lbs [10-12 kilos] more than a modern human of the same height.  Physically, they were a race resembling the Incredible Hulk, with a greater intellectual capacity than their Homo-Sapien counterparts

One flaw in the Neanderthal/Nephilim theory is that Neanderthals, although of significantly greater body mass were actually slightly shorter in height than Homo sapiens and some claim they were unlikely to have been referred to as giants.

This theoretical flaw is easily reconciled when one realizes that the word Nephilim actually means "fallen ones" and "Unnaturally begotten men"  not giants, the word being translated in the King James Bible as "Giants", is recognized now as a probable mistranslation.   

"Neanderthals although shorter than Modern man, and slightly shorter than their Homo Sapien contemporaries they had a much greater Body Mass ...“Neandertals were about 30% larger .than an average modern man and of great muscular strength. They had low foreheads, protruding brows, and large noses with broad nostrils and were meat eaters"...."One of the most characteristic features of the Neanderthals is the exaggerated massiveness of their trunk and limb bones. All of the preserved bones suggest a strength seldom attained by modern humans."   -Hard Times among the Neanderthals - Erik Trinkaus

"evidence indicates that Neanderthals were people of incredible power and strength, far superior to all but the most avid bodybuilders of today." Bones of Contention: A Creationist Assessment of Human Fossils Marvin Lubenow

Manual Dexterity / Opposing Thumbs   

Anthropologists at one time theorized that Neanderthal was incapable of making the more advanced tools utilized by Humans because they lacked opposing thumbs and hence the requisite dexterity . Recent studies suggest otherwise.

"...some anthropologists have proposed that Neandertals died out because their clumsy hands were unable to manufacture advanced tools.  A new three-dimensional computer simulation of their thumb and forefinger, however, indicates that Neanderthals had the same ‘precision grip’ as modern humans. 

To make their model, researchers scanned images of a thumb and index finger of fossils found in La Ferrassie, France, and then converted the images into a full-motion model (much like animators now do with computer graphics).  Although Neandertal hands look different from ‘modern’ hands (they had more muscle tissue and broader fingertips), their thumb was easily able to touch the tip of their index finger—the key to human dexterity."  Thumbs up for Neandertals


Neanderthal Language   

Although no proof of a written language has been discovered. Neanderthal may have possessed an advanced vocalized language. Fossils indicate that their voice boxes contained vocal cords that were capable of making sounds similar if not the same as modern humans. 

"... scientists reported that they'd found a gene that was involved in language. The gene is found throughout the animal kingdom, but the human version is slightly different from all the others, and scientists speculated that the changes in the human version might partly explain why humans can talk and chimps can't. Now, scientists have found that Neanderthals had the same version of the gene that modern humans do." - Neanderthals, Humans Share Language Gene

Neanderthal Communities and Culture   

Neanderthals were a social race. The old and the injured were taken care of ,not simply left to die. Elderly Individuals have been found substantiating the belief that they exercised "humanity" in their exercise of mental thought principles over physical actions.

There is evidence indicating that Neanderthals possessed a sense of family / community spirit . Ritual burials and caring for the old and sick. Remains of physically impaired individuals have been discovered. Some skeletons display healed injuries which tends to indicate that the injuries were treated and cared for.

In a cave in Iraq, archaeologists uncovered skeletal remains of a man, two women and a child buried together in soil containing flower pollen .  The flowers, apparently being set there by survivors, strongly suggests that Neanderthals thought and cared for their dead. [*1]

In Yugoslavia a flute has been unearthed among Neanderthal remains which indicates that Neanderthals had the ability to make music as well being indicative of an advanced thought process. [*2]


Neanderthal Warriors

There is evidence that Neanderthals were vicious and warlike , suffering and inflicting battle wounds, mutilations, torture and maiming. One Neanderthal site containing human/homo sapien bone fragments shows signs of cuts and burns. These burnt and intentionally broken human bones have been interpreted as being evidence of cannibalism. [*6] They could also be indicative of torture and or mutilation by dismemberment as has often been the case within certain homo sapien cultures who engage in vicious battle blood lust.

Neanderthal DNA       

Neanderthal Man: In Search of Lost Genomes Paperback – March 24, 2015

Modern man and Neanderthal are both derived from a common ancestor who lived about 500,000 years ago, but modern humans probably do not have Neanderthal ancestors in their family tree, a new DNA study concludes.

The DNA extracted from the ribs of a Neanderthal infant buried in southern Russia 29,000 years ago was found to be too distinct from modern human DNA to be related.

Not all Researchers agree. A 24,500-year-old skeleton found in Portugal [*7] demonstrates that Neanderthal man and early humans intermixed and produced children said Erik Trinkaus, Ph.D., professor of anthropology in Arts and Sciences.

"It is believed by some people that modern man shared several thousand years of history with Neanderthals, and also that the Middle-Eastern region was home to some of the last surviving pockets of Neanderthals or H. neandertalensis. Therefore, it is conceivable that a folk memory of these creatures survived by way of mythology. In addition, it appears that the very last Neanderthals adopted some of the technological and cultural innovations of their H. sapiens contemporaries. The theory is that surviving Neanderthals or hybrids might have been large, powerful men possessing the intellect and societal characteristics of our own species, which would explain their identification as "mightiest ones" and "men of renown."  -Wikipedia


Neanderthalis experienced rapid extinction and were eventually replaced by Cro-Magnon populations in Western Europe. Cro-Magnon possessed a brain capacity 200 cc larger than the average modern human , that's 18.5% larger . Cro-Magnons are considered modern humans, and ancestral to Homo Sapiens . Cro-Magnon was also slightly taller than both present day Homo Sapiens and Neanderthal.

Anthropologist Carleton Stevens Coon describes Cro-Magnon Man as a large, heavy-boned, muscular people with large heads and powerful jaws; and declares that this brand of Human is well illustrated by "the skeletons taken from a number of caves in Palestine and Lebanon, notably from the Cave of the Kids (Mugharet es-Skhul) near Mount Carmel, excavated in 1926 and 1927." [*4] Although some scientists have declared that Homo Sapiens could not successfully produce offspring with Neanderthal, it is not certain that this hypothesis applies to Cro-Magnon and Neanderthal mating.

Footnotes and References

1. Shanidar Cave Wikipedia - "All these injuries were acquired long before death, showing extensive healing and this has been used to infer that Neanderthals looked after their sick and aged, denoting implicit group concern. Shanidar 1 is not the only Neanderthal at this site, or in the entire archaeological record which displays both trauma and healing"

2. Neanderthal flute: Oldest musical instrument matches notes of do, re, mi scaleNEANDERTHAL FLUTE

3. DNA from Neandertal relative may shake up human family tree

4. The Races Of Europe Pg. 19

5. Thomas Lindahl, Facts and Artifacts of Ancient DNA Vol. 90, 1-3

6. Neanderthals Were Cannibals, Study Confirms

7.Lapedo child - Wikipedia

8. The Bible, the Koran, and the Talmud: Or, Biblical Legends of the MussulmansThe Bible, the Koran, and the Talmud: Or, Biblical Legends of the Mussulmans pg. 238