From Citizendium
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This article is developing and not approved.
Main Article
Related Articles  [?]
Bibliography  [?]
External Links  [?]
Citable Version  [?]
This editable Main Article is under development and subject to a disclaimer.

Angels, in Judaeo-Christian tradition, are creatures of unknown origin, said to be "ministering spirits" sent on behalf of the heirs of salvation.[1] More broadly, they can be regarded as Jungian archetypes[2] of nonhuman bringers of good,[3] and many religions have parallel concepts. Some angels are powerful beings that bring revelations, while others are benefactors to individuals.

In Islam, the Angel Gabriel is described to have revealed the Qur'an to Muhammad. The Angel Moroni revealed the tenets of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (i.e., Mormon) to Joseph Smith.

Lucifer is described as a "fallen angel" who became the Adversary. In Paradise Lost, he is quoted as saying that it is better to rule in Hell than to serve in Heaven.

The Bible

See also: Angels (Biblical)

In the Protestant Old Testament, or Tanakh according to Judaism, angel is translated from the Hebrew word "mal'ak", pronounced "mal-awk", and is used 213 times in that Old Testament.[4] In the New Testament, according to Christianity, angel is translated from the Greek word "aggelos", pronounced "ang'-el-os", and is used 186 times in the New Testament.[5] Both words, roughly translated, mean 'messenger'. They were said to be extremely wise, knowing all that was occurring in the earth,[6] and to be very powerful.[7]


The first Biblical reference to angels is in Genesis 3:24 where, following the fall of man, the outcast humans are prevented from returning to the Garden of Eden by Cherubim.

Angels, typical of their name, were often used to deliver messages to mankind, including Hagar,[8] Abraham,[9] Mary and Joseph,[10] Paul,[11] and John.[12] They were also used to guide or protect people by God, including the Israelites with Moses,[13] Daniel and his friends,[14] Jesus,[15] and the Apostles.[16] In some cases they were also sent to punish or kill the wicked, including Baalam,[17] Jerusalem,[18] the Assyrians,[19] and Herod.[20]

As seen in the book of Revelation, angels will be used to bring plagues upon the world who, worshiping the antichrist, will be in complete rebellion against God.[21]


Biblically, the angels which did not keep their first estate, sinning, God cast into Hell and has reserved in eternal chains under darkness until the great day's Judgment.[22] Given the account of this in Judges 9:8-15 and Ezekiel 31, 'Eden' was not only a garden for the creation of mankind, but the original dwellingplace of the angels,[23] with a rebellion that began by many of the angels seeking a king to reign over them. The Fig Tree, Olive Tree, and Vine, each symbolizing an angel or type of angel, refused, while the bramble, Satan, became their leader. Sometime after the fall of the angels, Eden was destroyed and turned into a "desolate wilderness".[24]


  1. The Bible. Hebrews 1:13-14.
  2. Carl Jung, Man and His Symbols
  3. Megge Hill Fitz-Randolph (20 December 2008), Angels and Archetypes: The Same or Different? What's the Connection Between Celestial Order and Humans?, Suite101
  4. Strong's Hebrew Dictionary. 4397.malak
  5. Thayer and Smith. "Greek Lexicon Entry for Aggelos".
  6. The Bible. 2 Samuel 14:17-20.
  7. The Bible. Zechariah 12:8.
  8. The Bible. Genesis 16:9-11; 21:17.
  9. The Bible. 22:11-15.
  10. The Bible. Matthew 1:20-24; 2:19; Luke 1:26-2:21.
  11. The Bible. Acts 27:23-24.
  12. The Bible. Revelation 1:1.
  13. The Bible. Exodus 23:20-23; 32:34; 33:2; Numbers 20:16.
  14. The Bible. Daniel 3:28; 6:22.
  15. The Bible. Luke 22:43.
  16. The Bible. Acts 5:19-20; 12:7-11.
  17. The Bible. Numbers 22:22-35.
  18. The Bible. 2 Samuel 24:16-17; 1 Chronicles 21:12-30.
  19. The Bible. 2 Kings 19:35; 2 Chronicles 32:21; Isaiah 37:36.
  20. The Bible. Acts 12:23.
  21. The Bible. Revelation 7:2; 8:7-13; 9:11-14; 16:3-8.
  22. The Bible. Jude 1:6; 2 Peter 2:4.
  23. The Bible. Ezekiel 28:13; 31:9,16,18.
  24. The Bible. Ezekiel 36:35; Joel 2:3.