Copyright
James Hastings.

Dictionary of the apostolic church (Volume 1) online

. (page 20 of 234)
Online LibraryJames HastingsDictionary of the apostolic church (Volume 1) → online text (page 20 of 234)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


so fully dealt with in HDB that it is unnecessary
to do more than refer incidentally to it here ; and
the angelology of the Gospels has been treated at
length in DCG (see Literature below). But the
other NT writings have not been so fully examined,
and it is the object of this article to consider them
particularly. Of these the Apocalypse, as might
be expected from the subject, calls for special
attention ; no book of the OT or the NT is so full of
references to the angels, and it is the more remark-
able that the other Johannine writings have so few.
The Fourth Gospel refers to angels only thrice
(li 12 29 20 12 ; 5 4 is a gloss [see below, 5 (b)]), and the
three Epistles not at all. There are frequent refer-
ences to the subject in Hebrews, and occasional
ones in the Pauline and Petrine Epistles and in
Jude.

2. The literal meaning of ayyeXos. &yye\os=
' messenger,' is found only once in the NT outside
the Gospels : in Ja 2 20 , it is used of Joshua's spies
(in Jos 6 2B [LXX], which is referred to, we read
TOVS KaraffKOTrevffdvras oOj 4ar4ffrei\ev'Ii]ffovs), In the
Gospels &yye\os is used of John Baptist in Mt
lli, Mk I 2 , Lk 7 27 (from Mai 3 1 but not from LXX,
which, however, also has tfyyeXos), of John's mes-
sengers in Lk 7 M , and of Jesus' messengers to a
Samaritan village in Lk 9 s2 . In Ph 2 215 , 2 Co S 28
dir6ffTo\os is translated 'messenger.'

3. The angels as heavenly beings. From the
earliest times the Israelites had been taught to
believe in angels, but after the Captivity the doc-
trine greatly developed. Yet some of the Jews
rejected all belief in them, and this sharply divided
the Pharisees from the Sadducees, who said ' that
there is no resurrection, neither angel, nor spirit ' ;
the Pharisees confessed both (Ac 23 s ).

Angels are creatures, as the Jews had always
taught (Thackeray, Relation of St. Paul to Jewish
Thought, p. 150). They were created in, through,
and unto Christ (Col I 16 ), who is the beginning as
well as the end of all things (cf. 1 Co 8 8 ). They are
not inferior deities, but fellow-servants (fftvdov\oi)
with man (Rev 19 10 22 9 ). Therefore they may not
be worshipped (ib.) ; the worship of angels was



58



ANGELS



ANGELS



one of the grave errors at Colossae (Col 2 18 ). So
idolatry is described as a worshipping of demons
(Rev 9 s ").

Much emphasis is laid, lest it should be thought
that angels were of the same degree as our Lord,
on the fact that Jesus is immeasurably higher than
they ; as in He I 4 *- (no angel is called ' the Son ' ;
angels worship the Firstborn), I 13 (no angel set at
the right hand of God), 2 6 (the world to come is not
made subject to angels, but to man v. 8f - shows
that the Representative Man is meant, who con-
descended to be, in His Incarnation, made a little
lower than the angels). In 1 P 3 22 ' angels and
authorities and powers' are made subject to the
ascended Christ ; and so in Eph I 21 . In Col 2 15
(an obscure verse), we may understand either that
our Lord, putting off His body, made a show of
the principalities and the powers, triumphing over
them in the cross (so the Latin Fathers) ; or, with
the Greeks, that He, having stripped off and put
away the principalities, made a show of them, etc.
i.e. that He repelled their assaults. Here the evil
angels are spoken of. But the complete subjection
of the powers of evil to Jesus will not take place
till the end of the world (1 Co IS 23 *-)-

Angels are spirits (He I 7 - 14 ); cf. Rev 16 14 , ' spirits
of demons.' In Ac 23 sf - they seem to be differen-
tiated from 'spirits' ('no resurrection, neither
angel, nor spirit . . . what if a spirit hath spoken
to him or an angel?'). But this is not so. The
'angel' is the species, the 'spirit' the genus
(Alford). All angels are spirits, though all spirits
are not angels. In v. 8 the Pharisees are said to
confess ' both,' i.e. both the resurrection and angel -
spirits ; only two categories are intended. We
must also remember that in v. 9 non-Christian Jews
are speaking.

But, though they are spirits, angels are not
omnipresent or omniscient, for these are attributes
of Deity. For their limited knowledge cf. Eph 3 10
(whether good or bad angels are there spoken of) ;
it is implied in 1 P I 12 (the angels desire to look
into the mysteries of the gospel) and in 1 Co 2 6ff -,
if ' rulers of this world ' are the evil angels (see
DEMON). It is explicitly stated in Mt 24 s6 , Mk 13 32 .
The limitation of the angels' knowledge is also
stated in Ethiopia Enoch, xvi. 3 (2nd cent. B.C. ?),
where the angels who fell in Gn 6 2 (so ' sons of God '
are interpreted) are said not to have had the hidden
things yet revealed to them, though they knew
worthless mysteries, which they recounted to the
women (ed. Charles, 1893, p. 86 f. ). In the Secrets of
Enoch (Slavonic), xxiv. 3 (1st cent. A.D. ?), God says
that He had not told His secrets even to His angels.
Ignatius says that the virginity and child-bearing
of Mary and the death of the Lord were hidden
from (tXadev) the ruler of this age (Eph. 19 ; for this
idea in the Fathers see Lightfoot's note).

The good angels are angels of light, as opposed
to the powers of darkness (2 Co II 14 ; ct. Eph 6 12 ) ;
so, when the angel came to St. Peter in the prison,
a light shone in the cell (Ac 12 7 ). The name
' seraph ' perhaps means ' the burning one,' though
the etymology is doubtful ; cf. also Ps 104 4 .

They neither marry nor are given in marriage ;
and so in the resurrection life there is no marrying,
for men will be 'as angels in heaven' (Mt 22 30 ,
Mk 12 25 ), 'equal to angels' (lffdyye\oi, Lk 20 36 ).
Some have thought that they have a sort of counter-
part of bodies, described in 1 Co lo 40 as ' celestial
bodies' (Meyer, Alford), though this is perhaps im-
probable ; St. Paul's words may refer to the
' heavenly bodies ' in the modern sense (Robertson-
Plummer), or to the post-resurrection human
bodies (cf. v. 48 ) ; not to good men as opposed to bad
(Chrysostom and others of the Fathers).

They are numberless (Rev 5 11 [from Dn 7 14 ],
He 12 22 , ' myriads ' ; in the latter passage they are



perhaps described as a ' festal assembly ' [RVm,
d-yyAwv ira.vriyvpeC\).

The unfallen angels are holy (Rev 14 10 , Mk 8 s8 ,
Lk 9 26 , and some MSS of Mt 25 31 ; so perhaps
1 Th 3 13 , Jude 14 [see below, 5(a)J; cf. Zee 14 8 'all
the holy ones '). This is the meaning of ' elect '
angels in 1 Ti 5 21 not angels chosen to guard the
Ephesian Church ; they are mentioned here be-
cause they will accompany our Lord to judgment
or (Grimm) because they are chosen by God to rule.

4. Ranks of the angels. There was a great
tendency in later Jewish writings to elaborate the
angelic hierarchy. In Is G 2 - B we had read of sera-
phim ; in Ezk 10 of cherubim. But in Eth. Enoch,
Ixi. 10 (these chapters are of the 1st cent. B.C. ?),
the host of the heavens, and all the holy ones
above, the cherubim, seraphim, and ophanim
( = ' wheels'; cf. Ezk I 15 ), angels of power, angels of
principalities, are mentioned (cf. Ixxi. 7) ; in the
Secrets of Enoch (20) we read of archangels, incor-
poreal powers, lordships, principalities, powers,
cherubim, seraphim, 'ten troops.' The 'gene-
alogies ' of 1 Ti I 4 and Tit 3 9 are thought by some
to refer to such speculations. St. Paul shows some
impatience at the Colossian fondness for elaborat-
ing these divisions ; yet in the NT we find traces of
ranks of angels. In Jude 9 the archangel (Michael)
is mentioned ; so in 1 Th 4 16 , where Michael is
doubtless meant. In Romans, Colossians, and
Ephesians no organized hierarchy is mentioned ;
and sometimes the reference seems to be to the
whole angelic band, sometimes to the evil angels,
when principalities, powers, dominions, thrones are
referred to (Col I 16 6p6voi, Kvpibnfres, dpxai, ov<rlai ;
2'- 15 dpxt, etowria ; Eph I 21 apxt, tfrvela, d6va/us,
Kvpi6r-r)s ; 3 10 6 12 dpxai, ti;ov<rlai ; Ro 8 s8 S-yyeXoi, dpxai,
8w6.iJ.eis ; 1 Co 15 24 apxtf, t&vala, dvva/Ms). In the
passages in Col. and Eph. St. Paul takes the ideas
current in Asia Minor as to the ranks of the angels,
but does not himself enunciate any doctrine ; in-
deed, in Eph I 21 he adds, ' and every name that is
named [dco/ctdfercu, i.e. reverenced] both in this age
and in that which is to come.' Some have thought
that he refers to earthly powers ; but, though
these may perhaps in some cases be included, there
can be little doubt that he is speaking primarily of
angelic powers, good and bad. ' Whatever powers
there may be, Christ is Lord of all, far above them
all.' In Eph 3 10 only evil angelic powers are re-
ferred to they are in the heavenly sphere (tv rols
tTTovpaviois) ; and so in 6 12 , where they are contrasted
with ' flesh and blood ' (see also below). With
these passages we may compare 1 P 3 22 ' angels and
authorities and powers'; and possibly 2 P 2 10 '-,
where the 'lordship' (RV 'dominion'), 'glories'
('dignities'), and angels are thought by some to
refer to ranks of angels ; if so, the highest rank is
'angels,' who are 'greater in might and power'
than the 'glories.' The cherubim of the ark
(Ex 25 18 ) are mentioned in He 9 5 .

The Christian Fathers and the heretical teachers
greatly elaborated the angelic hierarchy ; of these
perhaps the writer who had most influence was
pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite (de Ccel. Hier.
vi.-ix., c. A.D. 500), who divided the heavenly host
into three divisions, with three subdivisions in
each: (1) thrones, cherubim, seraphim ; (2) powers
(^ovffiai), lordships (Kiy>i6r7rres), mights (dvvdfieis) ;
(3) angels, archangels, principalities (dpxai). On
the analogy of this list, the Syriac-speaking
Churches divided the Christian ministry into three
classes, each with three sub-classes. For other
divisions of angels in post-apostolic times see
Lightfoot's note on Col I 1 *.

Very few names of angels occur in the NT. Of
the holy angels only Gabriel (Lk I 19 - M ) and Michael
(Jude 9 , Rev 12 7 ) are named (from Dn 8 16 9 21 10 18 - ?1
12' ). We also have the proper names Satan (thirty-



AtfGELtt



ANGELS



59



one times, nineteen outside the Gospels), Beelzebub
(Gospels only, six times), and Belial or Beliar (2 Co
& 15 ). See DEVIL, BELIAL. In the Apocrypha we
have Raphael in To 12 1B , Uriel in 2 Es 4* 5 20 10 28 , and
Jeremiel in 2 Es 4 s6 (the last book perhaps is to be
dated c. A.D. 90). Many other names are found in
Jewish writings ; see D. Stone, Outlines of Chr.
Dogma, London, 1900, p. 38 ; Edersheim, Life and
Times, App. xiii. ; Eth. Enoch, 20 (Uriel, Rafael,
Raguel, Michael, Saraqael, Gabriel ; the Gr. frag-
ment [Charles, p. 356 i.] has Sariel for Saraqael,
and adds Remiel [ = Jeremiel]).

5. Function of the angels. The NT represents
the angels as having a double activity, towards
God and towards man. Both these aspects are
found in He I 14 (see below), as in Is 6 1 ' 7 , where the
seraphim worship before God, and one of them is
sent to the prophet, and in Lk I 19 , where Gabriel
is said to stand in the presence of God, and to be
sent to Zacharias.

(a) Towards God. The angels are 'liturgic spirits'
(\eirovpyiKo. irve<j/j.aTa, He I 14 ; cf. Dn 7 10 tXeirovp-
yow avTip [Theodotion ; the version in our Gr. OT]
for nxv3V\, ' ministered unto him ' ; the Chigi LXX
has eOepdirevov avr6v) ; their ministry is an ordered
one, before the throne of God : ' the whole host of
His angels . . . minister (\eirovpyovffiv) unto His
will, standing by Him ' (Clem. Rom. Cor. 34 ; cf.
the 4th cent. Ignatian interpolator, Philad. 9, 'the
liturgic powers of God '). They worship God in
heaven (Rev 5 11L 7" 8 1 ' 4 ; cf. Job I 6 2 1 ), and on
earth (Lk 2 13f -) ; they worship the Firstborn when
He is brought into the world (He I 6 ), and are
witnesses of the Incarnation (1 Ti 3 18 'seen of
angels' but Grimm interprets dyy\ois here as
the apostles, witnesses of the risen Christ, and
Swete thinks the reference is to the Agony in
Gethsemane [Ascended Christ, 1910, p. 24]). To this
heavenly worship there seems to be a reference in
1 Co 13 1 'tongues of angels.' In Jewish thought
there were 'angels of the presence,' the highest
order of the hierarchy, who stood before the face
of God, within the veil (Edersheim, Life and Times,
i. 122 ; To 12 15 ; Eth. Enoch, 40). There may be
a reference to these in Rev I 4 ' the seven spirits
which are before his throne ' (Swete interprets this
of the sevenfold working of the Holy Spirit) ; 8 a
' the seven angels which stand before God (cf. v. 4 ) ;
Mt 18 10 ' in heaven [the little ones'] angels do always
behold the face of my Father which is in heaven ' ;
and in Lk I 19 (see above).

They will attend on the Son at the Last Judg-
ment (1 Th 4 16 , 2 Th I 7 , Rev 3 s ) ; and this seems to
be the most probable reference in 1 Th 3 13 'with
all his saints ' (or ' holy ones ' TWV aytuv afrrov) and
in Jude 14 'with ten thousands of his holy ones' (or
'with his holy myriads,' 4v ayiais fj.vpia.viv atirov),
where the words are quoted from Enoch, i. 9, the
text of the latter in the Gizeh Greek fragment
being <riiv TOIS (sic) pvpidviv ai/roO KO.I rots ayiois a&rov.
The words in Jude are certainly to be understood
of the angels, and this makes the similar interpre-
tation of 1 Th 3 13 more likely. But Milligan (Com.
in loc. ) thinks that the latter reference is to ' just
men made perfect,' who are said to judge, or to be
'brought with' Jesus at the Judgment (1 Th 4 14 ,
Mt 19 28 , Lk 22 30 ; cf. Wis 3 8 ; for 1 Co 6 3 see 7
below). No doubt the saints will rule with Christ
(Rev 2 26f< 20 4 etc.) ; but, as all men will them-
selves be judged (Ro 14 10 , 2 Co 5 10 ), the interpre-
tation of the above passages as implying that the
saints will themselves be judges at the Last Day
is somewhat doubtful. The attendance of the
angels on the Great Judge is mentioned in all four
Gospels (Mt 13 41 16 27 24 31 25 31 , Mk S 38 13 27 , Lk 9*
12*S and Jn I 81 [where the reference is to Gn 28 12 ]).
(b) Towards man. The angels do service
to man as heirs of salvation (He I 14 ).



They ministered to our Lord on earth, in His
human nature, after the Temptation in the wilder-
ness (Mt4 u , Mk I 13 , not in || Lk.), and at Gethsemane
(Lk 22^ : this may not be part of the Third Gospel,
but is certainly part of a 1st cent, tradition ; it
could not have been invented by the scribes [see
"VVestcott-Hort, NT in Greek, ii. App., p. 67]. The
present writer has argued for its being older than
Lk., and reflecting the same stage of thought as
Mk. [DCG ii. 124 b J). In Mt 26 s3 Jesus says that
angels would have ministered to Him, had He so
willed, when Judas betrayed Him.

The angels are spectators of our lives : 1 Co 4 9 ' a
spectacle (Otarpov) to angels ' ; 1 Ti 5 21 ' in the
sight of God and Christ Jesus and the elect angels ' ;
1 P I 12 , the angels ' look into ' ' glance at,' or
perhaps 'pore over' (see Bigg, Com. in loc.) the
Church and its Gospel ; they rejoice over the
sinner's repentance (Lk 15 10 ).

They are messengers to man. This is the office of
angels which is mos t prominent in the NTjseeAc? 38 - 38
(Moses) 8 28 (Philip) 10 3 - 7 - ** (Peter, Cornelius) II 13
(Peter) 12 7 ' 11 (Peter in prison) 23 9 (Paul) 27 23 (Paul
on his voyage), He 13 2 (reference to Abraham, Gn
18), and frequently in Rev. (e.g. I 1 22). St. Paul
alludes to this work of the angels in Gal I 8 , which
suggests that they must be proved, as spirits must
be (1 Co 12 10 , 1 Jn 4 1 , etc. ; see DEMON, 2), to see
whether they are true or false, and in Gal 4 14 ,
where there is a climax : ' as an angel of God,
nay, as one who is higher than the angels, as
Christ Jesus himself.' For this function in the
Gospels see Mt I 20 2 13 - 19 28 2 - 8 , Mk 16 8 ' 7 , Lk
jii. 6. i. 28. so. 35 2 . 21 24^ Jn 12 29 20 12 ; here we
note that the ' angel of the Lord ' in the NT is not
the same as the ' angel of Jahweh ' in the OT : it
merely means an angel sent by God. This office
of the angels does not exclude the Divine message
coming directly to man (Ac 9 s 22 s 26 14 , Gal I 12 ).

They are helpers of our worship. They offer the
' prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar '
(Rev 8 3f -)- Their presence at Christian worship is
a reason for decorum and reverence (1 Co II 10 : a
woman should be veiled in the assembly of the
faithful ' because of the angels ' ; this seems to be
the meaning, not ' because of the clergy who are
present,' as Ambrose, Ephraim Syrus, Primasius,
nor ' because of the evil angels,' with a reference
to Gn 6"-, as Tertullian [de Virg. Yd. 7 ; cf. 17],
nor yet ' because the angels do so,' i.e. veil them-
selves before their Superior [Is 6 2 ] ; see Robertson-
Plummer, Com. in loc.). For the presence of angels
at worship cf. Ps 138 1 LXX and Vulg., To 12 la - 16 ,
Three .

They fight for man against evil, under Michael
(Jude 9 , Rev 12 7f - 19 14 - la 20 1 - 8 ); they are 'armies'
(urpa.Tfiina.Ta., Rev 19 14 ) and a ' host ' (ffrparid, Lk 2 13 ;
not in He 12 2a RV where pvpidffiv is translated
'innumerable hosts'). They are the 'armies ' sent
out by the King in the Parable of the Marriage of
the King's Son (Mt 22 7 ).

They were the mediators of the Law (Ac 7 68 ,
Gal 3 1B , He 2 2 ) ; i.e. they assisted at the giving of
the Law. St. Paul and the writer of Hebrews
argue from this the superiority of the Gospel as
being given without the interposition of created
beings (Lightfoot on Gal 3). The presence of
angels is not mentioned in Ex 19, but cf. Dt 33 2 ,
Ps 68 7 ; it was emphasized by the Jews as extolling
the Law (see Thackeray, op. cit. p. 162), and this
is perhaps the meaning in Ac 7 s3 .

At death the angels carry the faithful departed
to Abraham's bosom (Lk 16 22 ). This was a common
Jewish belief (DCG i. 57 a ).

At the Judgment they will be the reapers of the
harvest (Rev 14 17 ' 19 , Mt 13 39 - ).

They are messengers of punishment (Ac 12 a
[Herod], Rev 14 10 ), and of judgment (Rev 8 6ff '



60



ANGELS



ANGELS



19 11 ' 14 ; cf. the pouring out of the bowls, 16 1 ' 17 , and
the seven angels having seven plagues, 15 1 ). In
1 Co 10 10 the ' destroyer ' (6\o8pevT^s) is not Satan,
but the angel sent by God to smite the people (the
reference is to Nu 16, where no angel is mentioned ;
but cf. Ex 12 23 , 2 S 24 16 ). Satan is sometimes
called 'the destroyer' (airoXXtiw, Rev 9 11 ), but
oXodpevrfy is not used elsewhere in the Bible (see
Robertson-Plummer on 1 Co 10 10 ).

They intervene on earth to help man : an ' angel
of the Lord ' releases the apostles (Ac 5 19 ) and
Peter ( 12 7 ) ; and, according to an ancient gloss,
probably African, originating before the time of
Tertullian, who quotes it (de Bapt. 5), ' an angel of
the Lord ' also ' troubled ' the water of Bethesda
(Jn 5 4 ). (Tertullian applies this text to Christian
baptism, over which he says an angel presides.)
Generally, the angels guard men from evil. This
leads us to the question of guardian angels. It is
an ancient idea that each human being, or even
every creature animate and inanimate, has allotted
to it one or more special angelic guards. This
idea is to some extent confirmed by the words
of our Lord about the 'angels of the little ones'
in Mt 18 10 . It was a popular belief that these
guardians took the form of the person guarded,
and the people assembled in the house of Mary the
mother of Mark thought that Peter, when escaped
from prison, was 'his angel' (Ac 12 1S ). This
Jewish conception was long retained by the Chris-
tians. Tertullian thought that the soul had a
'figure,' a certain corporeity, an 'inner man, differ-
ent from the outer, but yet one in the twofold
condition' (de Anima, 9); this is not quite the
same idea, but we find it more clearly in the 4th
cent. Church Order, the Testament of our Lord (i.
40), where all men have 'figures of their souls,
which stand before the Father of Light,' and which
in the case of the wicked ' perish and are carried
to darkness to dwell.' Similarly there are angels
of fire (Rev 14 18 ), of water (16 3ff - ; cf. 7 lf - and Jn
5 4 ), of winds (Rev 7 1 ; cf. Ps 104 4 ), of countries
(Dn 10 13 ' 20 ; cf. Sir 17 17 ) ; and the angel of the abyss,
Abaddon (q.v.) or Apollyon (Rev 9 11 ; cf. 20 1 ). For
Rabbinical ideas see Thackeray, op. cit. p. 168, and
Edersheim, op. cit. App. xiii.

6. Angels of the Churches. In Rev I 20 2 1 - 8 - 12 - 18
31. 7. 14 ^1^ g e ven Churches are said each to have
an ' angel.' These angels represent the Churches ;
what is said to them is said to the Churches (3 22 ;
cf. I 4 ) ; things done by the Churches are said to be
done by them. Various interpretations have been
offered, (a) They are said to be angels as in the
rest of the book. The strongest arguments for
this view are the writer's usage elsewhere, and the
mention of Jezebel (2 20 : ' thy wife ' in some MSS),
which is clearly symbolic. The difficulty is the
sin ascribed to these angels, as in any case a good
angel must, if this interpretation be taken, be
meant ; if so, the meaning must be that the angels
bear the sins of the Churches as representing and
guarding them, (b) They are thought to be earthly
representatives of the Churches, either delegates
to Patmos or the bishops or presbyters of the
Churches. This view accords better with the later
than with the earlier date assigned to Rev., with
the time of Domitian than with that of Nero.
(e) They are thought to be ideal personifications
of the Churches. On the whole the first view
seems to be the most probable. Compare and con-
trast the following article.

7. Fallen angels. In the NT both good and evil
angels are mentioned ; but when the word ' angel '
occurs alone, a good angel is to be understood
unless the context requires otherwise, though
perhaps 1 Co 6 s is an exception (see below). The
fall is mentioned in Jude 6 , 2 P 2 4 ; and probably
in 1 Ti 3 s , where it is ascribed to pride (see DEVIL,



2). The Incarnation was not intended to help
the angels. Jesus did not ' take hold ' of, to help,
the angels (or, as AV, did not take hold of their
nature) ; see Westcott on He 2 16 . Yet in Col I 20
God is said to reconcile through (the death of)
Christ ' all things ' to Himself the whole universe
material and spiritual (Lightfoot) ; but it was not
by delivering them from death (Alford) : the fallen
angels are not saved by Christ's death. Accord-
ing to some interpretations, St. Paul says that
angels will be judged by men (1 Co 6 s ). Robertson-
Plummer interpret this verse, tentatively, as mean-
ing that, as Christ judges, i.e. rules over, angels,
so will saints, who share in that rule ; but, if the
Last Judgment is intended, then fallen angels
must be meant here, for good angels, not having
fallen, cannot be judged. For 1 Th 3 13 see above,
5 (a). In the end Satan is bound, and Babylon
falls (Rev 18 and 20) ; nothing is said of his angels,
but the inference is that his angels fall with him,
and this is expressly said in Mt 25 41 . See further,
ADVERSARY, AIR, BELIAL, DEMON, DEVIL.

Metaphorically the 'stake in the flesh' is called
an angel (messenger) of Satan (2 Co 12 7 ). See art.
PAUL.

8. Comparison of apostolic and other teaching.
(a) Comparison with that of our Lord. Oesterley
(SDB, 32) contrasts Jesus' teaching with that of the
Evangelists and other NT writers, and says that
our Lord taught that the abode and work of the
angels are in heaven, not here below, while His
disciples taught (as the Jews did) that they are
active on earth. On the other hand, Marshall
(DCG i. 54 a ) maintains the complete identity of
teaching between Jesus and the Evangelists. To
the present writer the latter view seems to be the
right one. It is true that in our Lord's words the
work of angels on earth is not prominent. But in
Jn I 01 (our Lord is speaking) the order ' ascending
and descending' shows that the angels are ' already
on earth, though we see them not' (Westcott, Com.
in loc.). The account of the angelic ministry at
the Temptation, like that of the Temptation itself,
could by its very nature have come only from our
Lord's own lips. Moreover, in Jesus' teaching,
the angels come to the earth to fetch Lazarus' soul
(Lk 16 22 ) and to reap the Harvest (Mt 13 39 - ).

(b) Comparison with the doctrine of false teachers.
In Colossians we find an elaborate angelology,
taught by professing Christians whom St. Paul
attacks. Their heresy was partly Jewish, partly
Gnostic, though some think that two different
sects are meant. The Gnostic element shows it-
self in the tendency to put angels as intermediaries
between God and man, and to make angels emana-



Online LibraryJames HastingsDictionary of the apostolic church (Volume 1) → online text (page 20 of 234)