Lewis, Bonnie, et. al. "Angels." Faithology.com. Faithology, 28 February 2013. Web. 23 July 2014.

Lewis, B., et. al. (2013, Feb 28). Angels. Faithology. Retrieved from http://faithology.com/beliefs/angels

Lewis, Bonnie, et. al"Angels" Faithology, LLC. Last modified February 28, 2013. http://faithology.com/beliefs/angels

Lewis, Bonnie, et. alAngels. Faithology, LLC, 2012. http://faithology.com/beliefs/angels (Accessed Jul 23, 2014).

  • "Angel and Demon," Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica, 2011. Web. 09 Aug 2011. http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/24463/angel.
  • "Book of Tobit," WorldEnglishBible.org. Rainbow Missions, Inc., n.d. Web. 13 Aug 2011. http://ebible.org/bible/kjv/Tobit.htm.
  • Last Updated: February 28, 2013
  • Originally Published: July 18, 2012
  • Angels

Introduction

Christians believe that angels are supernatural beings created by God. Generally, they are thought of as his servants. There is no clear consensus among Christians as to the nature of angels, but the Bible indicates that they can appear as human and that some types have wings. Whether these descriptions are literal or figurative is often debated. Primarily, the Bible speaks of angels as messengers, but they can also be guardians, and are sometimes called "ministering spirits."2Bible: Hebrews 1:14.

Angels

An angel, depicted in Mezollo’s paintings in the Basillica dei Santi Apostoli

These supernatural beings are most often recorded as being messengers of God.3Bible: Genesis 21:17, Zechariah 1:9, Luke 1. The Bible also records angels as destroyers,4Bible: Genesis 19:1-22. guardians,5Bible: Psalms 91:10. ministers,6Bible: Mark 1:13. and as warriors.7Bible: 2 Kings 6:15-17; Matthew 26:53.

Other heavenly beings are mentioned in addition to angels, including cherubim8In Hebrew, the suffix –im is the pluralizer; cherubim and cherubs are synonymous. Cherubims is an error in translation. (Hebrew, kerubh, "one who blesses")9Bible: Genesis 3:24 and seraphim (Hebrew, saraph "the burning one").10Bible: Isaiah 6:2 Whether or not these beings have some hierarchy among them is not stated. Traditions of a complex angelic hierarchy have arisen among some Christian groups.

There is little biblical information regarding the nature or status of angels, such as whether they have physical or spiritual bodies. There are numerous references to angels as "men,"11Bible: Genesis 18:2, Joshua 5:13-15, Acts 10:30, Hebrews 13:2. which most Christian scholars interpret as meaning that angels have—or at least can assume—human form. One recorded biblical appearance of angels seems to consist of one male and two female angels.12Bible: Zechariah 5:5-11. Cherubim and seraphim are seen in biblical visions13Bible: Isaiah 6, Ezekiel 10. as winged heavenly beings, but this detail is often debated.

Several angels are notable. Their names often end in the suffix –el, a Hebrew word meaning "God."

  • Michael is the only angel named as an archangel.14Bible: Jude 1:9. As recorded in the Bible, he led the angels that fought and cast out the Devil and his angels.15Bible: Revelation 12:7-9.
  • Gabriel is the angelic messenger sent to explain certain visions to Daniel16Bible: Daniel 8-9. and to announce the births of John the Baptist and Jesus Christ.17Bible: Luke 1. He is generally considered an archangel, though never called such in the Bible.
  • Raphael calls himself "one of the seven, who stand before the Lord"18Bible: Tobit 12:15. in the Apocrypha.
  • The "angel of the Lord" appears to speak as the voice of God.19Bible: Genesis 22:11-12.
  • The "captain of the Lord’s host"20Bible: Joshua 5:13-15. is otherwise unidentified.

There are also references to angels of the devil,21Bible: Matthew 13:39, 25:41, Revelation 12:9. more commonly known in Christian terminology as "demons," though this term is not used in the Bible.