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tions from God with an elaborate hierarchy of
powers, dominions, etc. Against such teaching St.
Paul asserts that Christ is the only mediator (Col 1 18 ~ 22
2 9 ' 15 ), and forbids the worship of angels because it
denies this. In the unique mediation of our Lord
lies the significance of the repeated phrases ' in the
Lord,' ' unto the Lord ' (3 18 - ^ a ). Jesus is the one
apx^i, or ' beginning' (I 18 ; cf. Rev 3 14 ), of creation, as
against the idea of angelic intermediaries when
the world was made (see Lightfoot's essay on the
Colossian heresy [Col., p. 71 ff.]). Perhaps also in
the assertion of the unique mediation of Christ
lies the significance of the rhetorical passage in
which St. Paul says that no heavenly powers,
good or bad, can separate us from the love of God
(Ro S 38 ). Passages in Eph. (above, 4) seem to show
that the Colossian heresy was known also on the
Asian seaboard.

A later stage of angelological error is found at
the end of the 1st cent, in Cerinthus' teaching,
which resembled that of the Colossian heretics.
Cerinthus (q.v. ) taught that the world was not
made by God, but by an angel, or by a series of



powers or angels, who were ignorant of God ; the
Mosaic Law was given by them (cf. above, 5 (&)).
Cerinthus is the link between the Gnosticism at
Colossse and the developed Gnosticism of the 2nd
century (for his doctrine see Irenseus, Hcer. i. 26 ;
Hippofytus, Refut. vii. 21, x. 17). He claimed to
have had angelic visions, and was a millenarian
of the grossest sort (Caius in Eusebius, HE iii. 28).
See also Lightfoot, op. cit., p. 106 ff.

Speculations such as those attacked by St. Paul
found a congenial soil in ' Asia ' and Phrygia.
Even in the 4th cent, at the Council held at the
Phrygian Laodicea (c. A.D. 380), Christians are
forbidden to leave the Church of God and invoke
(6i>o/jLdfeiv) angels (can. 35 ; see Hefele, Councils,
Eng. tr., iii. 317). It is the proper jealousy for the
One Mediator, on the other hand, which has led
many moderns to reject the doctrine of the exist-
ence of angels altogether. But both heavenly and
earthly beings can help man without being medi-
ators, as we see when one man helps another by
intercessory prayer. The NT teaching about
angelic helpers, so potent an antidote to material-
ism, in no way asserts that we are to pray to God
through the angels, or contradicts the doctrine
that Christ is the only Mediator between God and

(c) Comparison with current Jewish teaching and
that of the later Rabbis. The apostolic teaching
is quite free from the wild speculations of Jewish
angelology. (For differences between it and cur-
rent Jewish ideas see Edersheim, op. cit. i. 142
and App. xiii.) Of Jewish speculations the most
elaborate were those of the Essenes (q.v.), which
had a decided Gnostic tinge. This Jewish sect had
an esoteric doctrine of angels, and its members
were not allowed to divulge their names to out-
siders (Jos. BJ H. viii. 7 ; Lightfoot, Col., p. 87 ;
Edersheim, i. 330 f.). A few Jewish speculations
may be mentioned. It was thought that new
angels were always being created an idea derived
from a wresting of La S 23 (Thackeray, op. cit. p.
150). The angels taught Noah medicine (Book of
Jubilees, 10). The righteous will become angels
(Eth. Enoch, li. 4). An angel troubled the waters of
Bethesda for healing (gloss in Jn 5 4 ). An elaborate
hierarchical system and numerous names were in-
vented for them (above, 4). Contrasted with these
ideas, we have in the NT a wise reserve, which
refuses to go beyond the things which are written.

One Jewish speculation must be noticed more
fully. The Rabbis taught that none of the angels
was absolutely good, that they opposed the crea-
tion of man and were jealous of him (Edersheim,
ii. 754). Thackeray (p. 151 f.) considers that St.
Paul also makes them all antagonistic to God. If
so, he contradicts the teaching both of our Lord
and of the other NT writers (above, 3). But this
view, based on St. Paul's language about princi-
palities, powers, etc., and on the idea that all the
angels are the enemies who must be put under
Christ's feet (1 Co 15 25 ), appears to be untenable.
St. Paul, while affirming that some ' powers ' are
evil, does not say that they all are so. See
above, 4.

9. Nature of NT angelophanies. It is unprofit-
able to ask whether angels took material bodies
when they appeared to men or whether they
merely seemed to do so. At any rate, they took
the form of men to the mind, though in some cases
there was something about them that produced
wonder or fear (Lk I 12 , Mt 28 4 , etc.). The accounts
of the angels who were seen after the Resurrection
vary. In Mt 28 2 the angel who rolled away the
stone was like lightning, his raiment white as snow.
In Mk 16 s we read only of a young man in a white
robe. In Lk 24 4 there are two men in dazzling
apparel (cf. v. 28 'vision of angels'). In Jn 20 12

there are two angels in white, sitting. In Ac I 10
there are 'two men ... in white apparel.' To
Cornelius the angel was 'a man ... in bright
apparel ' (Ac 10 30 ). Stephen's face was filled with
superhuman glory, ' as it had been the face of an
angel ' (Ac 6 1S ; so we reflect, as in a mirror, the
glory of the Lord, 2 Co 3 18 ). For an argument that
the appearance of the angels was 'objective' see
Plummer on Lk I 11 ; but this is largely a matter of
definition. At the death of Herod (Ac 12 23 ) no
appearance of an angel is necessarily intended.

10. The immediate successors of the apostles.
Angelology was a favourite topic of the time ;
but, the literature of the sub-apostolic period
being very scanty, the references are few. For
Clement of Rome see above, 3 (a). Ignatius says
that the knowledge of angelic mysteries was given
to martyrs (Trail. 5) : ' heavenly things and the
dispositions (ro7ro0e<rtas) of angels, and musterings of
rulers (o-vo-rdo-eis apxovriicds), seen and unseen' (cf.
Col I 16 ). The ' dispositions ' would be in the seven
heavens. The apxovres, 'rulers,' would be St.
Paul's dpxai, i.e. angels (Lightfoot, Ign. ii. 165).
In Smyrn. 6 it is said that the angels, if they
believe not in the blood of Christ, are judged ;
this seems to imply that their probation is not yet
ended. See also above, 3. Papias (quoted by
Andreas of Csesarea, in Apoc., ch. 34, serm. 12 ;
Lightfoot-Harmer, Apostol. Fathers, p. 521) says
that to some of the angels God ' gave dominion over
the arrangement (Sia/cooT^o-ews) of the universe . . .
but their array (rdit>) came to naught, for the
great dragon, the old serpent, who is called the
Devil and Satan, who deceiveth the whole earth,
was cast down, yea, was cast down to the earth,
and his angels ' (quotation from Rev 12 9 ). Papias
seems to date the fall of the angels after the
creation of the world. Hermas (for his possibly
early date see Salmon, Introd. toNT, xxvi.) describes
the building of the tower [the Church] upon the
waters by six young men (cf. Mk 16 s ), while
countless other men bring the stones ; and the
former are said to be the holy angels of God, who
were created first of all ; the latter are also holy
angels, but the six are superior to them (Vis. iii.
1, 2, 4). In the Martyrdom of Poly carp, 2, martyrs
are said to become angels after death (see above,
8). In the Epistle to Diognetus, 7, God is said to
have sent to men a minister (virT)pn}v) or angel or
ruler (apxovra). Justin interprets Ps 24 7 - 9 [LXX]
as addressed to the rulers appointed by God in the
heavens (Dial. 36). To angels was committed the
care of man and of all things under heaven, but
they transgressed through the love of women (Apol.
ii. 5, referring to Gn 6 lff< ). Angels, like men,
have free will (Dial. 141).

LITERATURE. A. Edersheim, Life and Times of Jesus the
Messiah^, London, 1897, i. 142, ii. 748 (Appendix, xiii.), etc. ;
H. St. J. Thackeray, The Relation of St. Paul to Contemporary
Jewish Thought, do. 1900; A. B. Davidson in HDB, art.
'Angel' (almost entirely for OT); W. Fairweather in HDB,
voL v., art. ' Development of Doctrine in the Apocryphal
Period,' iii. ; J. T. Marshall in DOG, art. ' Angels ' ; and the
Commentaries, esp. H. B. Swete, Apocalypse of St. John,
London, 1906; B. F. Westcott, Hebrews*, do. 1906; G.
Milligran, Thessalonians, do. 1908 ; J. B. Lightfoot, Colossians
and Philemon, do. 1900 (1st ed. 1875) ; A. Robertson and A
Plummer, 1 Corinthians, Edinburgh, 1911.


general practice of NT writers points to the con-
clusion that the word ' angels,' used in this con-
nexion, is employed to denote superhuman and
celestial personalities. We are not, however,
without examples of its being used to indicate
ordinary 'messengers' (cf. Lk7 24 9 B2 , Ja 2 25 , etc.).
In this case it would be equivalent to the dir6<rro\oi.
iKK\i)ffi!av (2 Co S 28 ; cf. Ph 2 s5 ), who were in some
sense the official, if temporary, delegates of one
Church to another. The fact that in the Apocalypse



these ' angels ' are to such a degree the recipients
of praise and blame would seem to put both these
simple interpretations out of court.

Many ingenious attempts have been made to
employ the expression as a collateral or subsidiary
proof that episcopacy had already been established
within the lifetime of the Johannine author. The
passages adduced from the OT in support of this
view are certainly irrelevant ; for, while it is con-
ceivable that the chief minister of a Church should
be styled AyyeXos Kvpiov (cf. Hag I 18 and Mai 2 7 ;
see also Is 44 s88 and Mai 3 1 ), it is difficult to under-
stand the application to him of the designation
&yye\os tKK\Tjffias (Rev 2 1 , etc.). Nor, again, can the
contention be sustained that the expression had
its origin in the office of the sh f liah zibbur, the
messenger or plenipotentiary of the synagogue
for, as Schiirer has pointed out, these ' messengers '
were not permanent officials (see HJP II. ii. 67),
but persons chosen for the time by the ruler to
pronounce the prayer at public worship (cf. Light-
foot, Dissertations on Apostol. Age, 1892, p. 158).

In supporting the contention that by the ' angels '
of the Churches are meant the bishops, the strange
conclusion has been maintained that in the words
rty ywaiKa [<rov] ' lefd^eX (Rev 2 20 ) the author is re-
ferring to the Thyatiran bishop's wife (see Grotius,
Annotationes in Apoc., ad loc.). It ought to be
pointed out that this theory is as old as Jerome,
who in his commentary on 1 Ti 3 2 adopts a similar
interpretation ; and Socrates (HE iv. 23) describes
Serapion as ' the angel of the church of the
Thmuitae' (cf. Jerome, de Vir. illustr. 99, where
he mentions Serapion as ' Thmueos Egypti urbis
Episcopus '). The same conception is attached to
the expression by the 6th cent, commentators,
Primasius the African (Com,, in Apoc.) and Cassi-
odorus the Italian ( Complexiones in Apoc. ) in their
reflexions on Rev I 20 .

An examination of the use of the word &yye\os
in the NT Apocalypse, apart from its connexion
with the Churches, shows that the author invari-
ably employs it to describe a spiritual being
attached to the service of God or of Satan. We
are, therefore, confronted with the difficulty of
accounting for its presence here in a sense so
completely different as the episcopal theory in-
volves. There is, indeed, no valid reason to sup-
pose that the author, even in a work as highly
symbolical as this is, attaches an essentially differ-
ent idea to the word when he speaks of ' the
Angels of the Seven Churches.'

If we can accept the textual purity of the Ascen-
sion of Isaiah, iii. 15, there is a remarkable parallel:
' the descent of the angel of the Christian Church,
which is in the heavens, whom He will summon in
the last days.' Even on the supposition that the
Ethiopia version, supported by some Greek MSS,
is a correct translation of the original, and the
simple word ' Church ' is substituted for ' angel of
the Christian Church,' we are confronted by the
primitive identification of the Church and its angel
(see Charles, Asc. of Isaiah, ad loc.).

Perhaps the most curious feature of the letters
to the Asian Churches is the way in which the
writer expresses himself in terms of stern reproof
or of encouragement to their 'angels.' The objec-
tion to this difficulty is considered by Origen,
who finds cause for marvel at the care shown by
God for men : ' forasmuch as He suffers His angels
to be blamed and rebuked on our behalf ' (horn, in
Num. xx. 3 ; cf. in Luc. xiii. ).

As we have already seen, however, it is difficult
to suppose that the writer intended the words to
be understood as referring literally to angels who
presided over the Churches. There is, no doubt,
a natural inclination to see in his use of the phrase
a reminiscence of the ' princes ' of the Apocalypse

of Daniel (6 &px<av fjcunXelas TLepv&v, Dn 10 13 ; cf.
Mtx a ^A o fiyyeXos, v. 21 ). A similar belief with re-
spect to the guardianship of individuals is referred
to incidentally as held by Jesus (Mt 18 10 ), and we
need not be surprised to find it applied to Churches
in their corporate capacity by a writer whose
teaching on the activity and functions of angels is
so advanced.

Taking into account the symbolism of the whole
book and the obviously symbolic mention of Jeze-
bel (Rev 2* ; cf. Milligan on Rev 10 1 ' 3 in SchatFs
Pop. Com. on the NT), there seems to be no inter-
pretation more in harmony with the spirit of the
writing than that which sees in this expression the
personification of the characteristic spiritual tone
and genius of each Church.

If we accept this conclusion as being most con-
sonant with the general trend of thought through-
out the writing, it may not be amiss to refer to the
remarkable parallel in the fravashis, or ' doubles,'
of Parsiism. Whatever the connexion between
Persian and Jewish angelology and it is not
necessary to insist on a direct borrowing it seems
to be certain that, in the period immediately sub-
sequent to the Captivity, Parsi influence shaped,
at least indirectly and remotely, the development
of Hebrew thought. 'Thefravashi of a nation or
community is a conception found in three Avestan
passages. . . . The fravashi is no longer a being
necessarily good, but becomes a complete spiritual
counterpart of the nation or the church, and cap-
able therefore of declension and punishment ' (HDB
iv. 991 b ; cf. JThSt iii. 520 ff.). The nexus may be,
and probably is, not so mechanical and direct as
J. H. Moulton seeks to establish. On the other
hand, it seems as if a relationship of some kind
between the allied forces of Magianism and Zoro-
astrianism, as they were refracted by the medium
of Hellenistic culture and Hebrew thought, must
be regarded as inevitable. It is enough to say
that the ' angel ' is the personified embodiment of
the spiritual character and ethos of the Church. If
this use of the word by the author has led to con-
fusion and obscurity, the reason lies probably in
the limitations of that symbolism which was the
characteristic vehicle of Jewish apocalyptic litera-
ture (see W. M. Ramsay, The Letters to the Seven
Churches, 1904, pp. 57-73). Compare and contrast
6 of the preceding article.

LITERATURE. See the works referred to throughout the art.,
and the Commentaries on the Apocalypse.


ANGER. 1. Human anger. Except by the
stoical mind which finds no place x for strong
emotion in a moral scheme, anger has been recog-
nized as a quality which, under certain conditions
and within certain limits, may not only be per-
missible but commendable. Its ready abuse nas,
however, led to its being commonly placed among
the evils of human nature. The teaching of the
early Christian Church recognizes both aspects.
Condemnation of the abuse of anger is not wanting
in the apostolic writings. Among the manifest
works of the flesh are enmities, strife, jealousies,
wraths (Ovpol), factions (Gal 5 20 ). St. Paul fears lest
he shall find these evils in the Church when he comes
to Corinth (2 Co 12 20 ). One of the marks of the
greatest of Christian virtues is that it ' does not
blaze forth in passionate anger ' (ov irapotyverai. [1 Co
13 5 ]). In Christian circles, all bitterness and wrath
and anger must be put away (Eph 4 S1 ; cf. Col 3 8 ).
The holy hands lifted up in prayer must be un-
stained with anger and strife (1 Ti 2 s ). The
1 bishop ' must be blameless, as God's steward,
not self-willed, not soon angry (Tit I 7 ). St. James
bids his readers be swift to hear, slow to speak,
slow to wrath, for the wrath of man worketh not
the righteousness of God (I 19 - "K ' Be not prone to




anger,' says the Didache (iii. 2), 'for anger leadeth
to murder : nor a zealot, nor contentious, nor
quick-tempered, for murder also is the outcome of

On the other hand, Christian morality recognizes
a righteous anger. The section of the Sermon on
the Mount which teaches that whosoever is angry
with his brother is in danger of the judgment (Mt
5 21 *-) is primarily aimed at something other than
passion it is an emphatic condemnation of the
spirit which despises and seeks to injure a brother.
The violation of the law of brotherly love, manifest
in the anger of Mt 5 W , might, indeed, provoke a
legitimate wrath, e.g. in the series of woes, terrible
in intensity of language, pronounced by Jesus
against the scribes and Pharisees (Mt 23 13ff -}. We
should hesitate to acknowledge a man as morally
and spiritually great who could remain unmoved
in the presence of the world's wrongs. The early
preachers would have been poor souls had they
been able to hide their indignation at the mur-
derers of Jesus (Ac 3 13 - 14 5 30 7 51L ). Could Peter well
have been calm with Ananias and Sapphira (Ac 5 1 ),
and later, with the commercially-minded, religious
adventurer, Simon Magus (8 20 '-)? A certain prin-
ciple of discrimination seems, however, to have been
observed. Anger at personal insult or persecution
was discouraged. Anger provoked by personal in-
jury niay have a protective value in a lower stage
of the world's life, but the attitude of Christian
ethics to this type is governed by the law of non-
resistance laid down by the Sermon on the Mount.
Man must return good for evil, show kindness to
his enemy, leave retribution to God (Ro 12 19 - M ).
St. Paul claims that, ' when reviled, we bless ; when
persecuted, we bear it patiently ; when slandered,we
try to conciliate' (1 Co 4 12 ), thus following the
example of Jesus (1 P 2 23 ). One is tempted to
regard the apology which followed the momentary
outburst of St. Paul's passion against the high
priest (Ac 23 3 ) as an expression of the Apostle's
principles of non-resistance rather than as an ac-
knowledgment of priestly rights. But there is an
altogether different attitude when that which is to
be defended is a righteous principle, a weaker
brother, or the faith or ethical standard of the
Church. Elymas, the sorcerer, seeking to hinder a
work of grace, provokes a vigorous anger (Ac 13 10 - n ).
On behalf of the purity of faith St. Paul resists St.
Peter to the face (Gal 2 11 ). The Epistle to the
Galatians is a piece of passionate writing, and a
note of indignation runs through the later chapters
of 2 Cor. (cf. 1 Co I 14 5 5 , etc.). The man who does
not love the. Lord Jesus, or the one who preaches
a false gospel, let him be accursed dvddefjui(l Co
16 22 ). The indignation (dyavdKrrjffis) of the Cor-
inthian Church against the guilty person in the
case of immorality, to which St. Paul has drawn
attention, is commended by him (2 Co 7 11 ). Simi-
larly, the Church at Ephesus is congratulated on its
hatred of the Nicolaitans (Rev 2P). St. Paul
' burns ' if another is ' made to stumble ' (2 Co II 29 ).
In these instances, anger seems to have been re-
garded as compatible with, and indeed expressive
of, Christian character. The obvious danger of
mistaken zeal for a cause or creed must, however,
be kept in mind. The case of St. Paul's early life
provides an illustration (Gal I 13 , Ph 3 6 ). There
may be a zeal for God, not according to knowledge
(Ro 10 2 ).

But even legitimate anger may readily pass
into a sin. Passions beyond the control of the
rational self can hardly be justified, whatever the
cause. Self-control is a cardinal Christian virtue.
Hence the apostolic caution of Eph 4- 16 , 'Be ye
angry and sin not,' i.e. if angry, as one may rightly
be, do not allow the passion to become an evil by
its excess. The wrath against which the warning

is given seems indicated by the following clause
' let not the sun go down on your tra.popyicrtj.6s ' (' a
noun which differs from 6pyri in denoting, not the
disposition of anger, or anger in a lasting mood, but
exasperation, sudden violent anger' [Salmond]).
There is no reference to deliberate indignation on
a matter of principle, such as the resentment which,
the author of Ecce Homo claims, was felt by Jesus
towards the Pharisees to the end of His life.

2. Divine anger. Most minds must have felt
the objection expressed by Origen, Augustine, and
the Neo-Platonist theologians generally, that we
cannot treat the Supreme as a magnified man and
attribute to Him such perturbation of mind as is
suggested to us by the term ' anger.' But we may
allow and must do so unless we are prepared to
deny personality in God that the quality, which
we find expressed under human conditions as the
righteous anger of a good man, must exist in God,
although in a form which we cannot adequately
conceive, owing to our inability to realize absolute
conditions. We may be helped to some extent by
recognizing that behind the human agitations of
personality in love, pity, indignation, etc., there are
certain principles and attitudes which no more
depend for their quality on the element of agita-
tion than the existence of steam depends upon the
appearance of white vapour which we ordinarily
associate with it. This underlying quality we
may attribute to the Deity, in whom life and per-
sonality, here expressed only in finite and con-
ditioned forms, have their perfect and unconditioned
being (Lotze).

The objection that anger, unlike love, is un-
worthy of the highest moral personality (Marcion)
may be met by the answer that Divine love and
anger are not two opposing principles, but ex-
pressions of the one attitude towards contrary
sets of human circumstances. The Divine anger
is actually involved in the Divine love (Tertullian,
Martensen, etc.). The one Lord whose name is
Truth and Love is, because of this, a consuming
flame to wrong (He 10 31 12 29 ).

The idea of the ' Divine anger ' this attitude of
Deity towards certain courses of human life is a
justifiable inference from the intuitions of con-
science, but another and an unsound argument
played a part in the historical formation of the doc-
trine. In the early stages of religious thought the
conception of the wrath of God would naturally
come to men's minds from contemplation of the ills
of human life. The chieftain punished those with
whom he was angry, either by direct action or by
withholding his protection. Did not, then, physical
calamities, pestilences, reverses of fortune, defeat
in battle, indicate the displeasure of Deity (Jos 7,
2 S 21 1 24, etc.)? Such misfortune, when no
ethical cause could be recognized, would en-
courage the doctrine of unwitting and non-ethical
offences (e.g. the violation of tabu) and of non-
ethical propitiation. The ills of life especially
death suggested later a world lying under a curse,
due to Adam's sin. Against the popular doctrine
that misfortune indicated Divine displeasure, the
Book of Job is a protest. Human suffering has
educative values, and does not necessarily indicate
the disapproval of God (He 12 5 '-).

Yet even in early times the idea of the Divine
anger did not rest wholly on the facts of human
suffering. Men realized that the world, as they
found it, was not in harmony with their conceptions
of the Highest, and thus in times of prosperity,
which, according to this theory, would indicate
God's contentment with His people, prophets such
as Amos argued for coming doom. From the con-
sciousness of the holiness of God it was inferred
that there must be Divine displeasure.

The turning away of the Divine anger. Two




attitudes in regard to this problem appear among
the Hebrews, even as early as the 8th cent. B.C.
The prophets of that period ' do not recognize the

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