angel: Wikis


Encyclopedia

's famous angels from the Basilica dei Santi Apostoli, now in the sacristy of St. Peter's.]]

wears a late Roman military cloak and cuirass in this 17th century depiction by Guido Reni]]

Angels are usually viewed as messengers of a supreme divine being, sent to do the tasks of that being. Traditions vary as to whether angels have free will. While the appearance of angels also varies, many views of angels give them a human shape. Despite a common popular belief— or at least metaphor— that angels are former human beings, most major religious groups deny such a view, and this position is held only by Latter Day Saints and the Bahá'í Faith.Template:Fact

Contents

Etymology

The word angel in English is a fusion of the Old English word engel (with a hard g) and the Old French angele. Both derive from the Latin angelus, and thence the Koine Greek angellos ('messenger') used in the Septuagint to translate the Hebrew mal'akh (yehowah) "messenger (of Yahweh)".[1][2]

Judaic beliefs

's icon showing the three Angels hosted by Abraham]] The Bible uses the terms מלאך אלהים (melakh Elohim; messenger of God), מלאך יהוה (melakh Adonai; messenger of the Lord), בני אלוהים (b'nai Elohim; sons of God) and הקדושים (ha-qodeshim; the holy ones) to refer to beings traditionally interpreted as angels. Other terms are used in later texts, such as העליונים (ha'oleevoneem; the upper ones). Daniel is the first biblical figure to refer to individual angels by name.[3]

In post-Biblical Judaism, certain angels came to take on a particular significance and developed unique personalities and roles. Though these archangels were believed to have rank amongst the heavenly host, no systematic hierarchy ever developed. Metatron is considered one of the highest of the angels in Merkabah and Kabbalist mysticism and often serves as a scribe. He is briefly mentioned in the Talmud,[4] and figures prominently in Merkabah mystical texts. Michael, who serves as a warrior and advocate for Israel (Daniel 10:13) is looked upon particularly fondly. Gabriel is mentioned in the Book of Daniel (Daniel 8:15-17) and briefly in the Talmud,[5] as well as many Merkabah mystical texts.

Medieval Jewish philosopher Maimonides explained his view of angels in his Guide for the Perplexed II:4 and II:6:

...This leads Aristotle in turn to the demonstrated fact that God, glory and majesty to Him, does not do things by direct contact. God burns things by means of fire; fire is moved by the motion of the sphere; the sphere is moved by means of a disembodied intellect, these intellects being the 'angels which are near to Him', through whose mediation the spheres [planets] move... thus totally disembodied minds exist which emanate from God and are the intermediaries between God and all the bodies [objects] here in this world.

Guide of the Perplexed II:4, Maimonides

Christianity

]] ]]

Early Christians took over Jewish ideas of angels. In the early stage, the Christian concept of an angel shifted between the angel as a messenger of God and a manifestation of God himself. Later came identification of individual angelic messengers: Gabriel, Michael, (Raphael, and Uriel). Then, in the space of little more than two centuries (from the third to the fifth) the image of angels took on definite characteristics both in theology and in art.[6]

By the late fourth century, the Church Fathers agreed that there were different categories of angels, with appropriate missions and activities assigned to them. Some theologians had proposed that Jesus was not divine but on the level of immaterial beings subordinate to the Trinity. The resolution of this Trinitarian dispute included the development of doctrine about angels.[7]

The angels are represented throughout the Christian Bible as a body of spiritual beings intermediate between God and men: "You have made him (man) a little less than the angels..." (Psalms 8:4,5). They, equally with man, are created beings; "praise ye Him, all His angels: praise ye Him, all His hosts... for He spoke and they were made. He commanded and they were created..." (Psalms 148:2-5; Colossians 1:16). The Fourth Lateran Council (1215) declared that the angels were created beings. The Council's decree Firmiter credimus (issued against the Albigenses) declared both that angels were created and that men were created after them. The First Vatican Council (1869) repeated this declaration in Dei Filius, the "Dogmatic constitution on the Catholic faith". In traditional Christianity angels are regarded as asexual and not belonging to either gender.

The words "He that liveth for ever created all things together..." (Ecclesiasticus 18:1) have been held to prove a simultaneous creation of all things; but it is generally conceded that "together" (simul) may here mean "equally", in the sense that all things were "alike" created. Angels are spirits; the writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews says: "Are they not all ministering spirits, sent to minister to them who shall receive the inheritance of salvation?" (Hebrews 1:14).

Iconography

of the Archangels Michael and Gabriel wearing the loros of the Imperial guards.]]

The earliest known Christian image of an angel, in the Cubicolo dell'Annunziazione in the Catacomb of Priscilla, which is dated to the middle of the third century, is without wings. Representations of angels on sarcophagi and on objects such as lamps and reliquaries of that period also show them without wings,[8] as for example the angel in the Sacrifice of Isaac scene in the Sarcophagus of Junius Bassus.

The earliest known representation of angels with wings is on what is called the Prince's Sarcophagus, discovered at Sarigüzel, near Istanbul, in the 1930s, and attributed to the time of Theodosius I (379-395).[9]

In this same period, Saint John Chrysostom explained the significance of angels' wings: "They manifest a nature's sublimity. That is why Gabriel is represented with wings. Not that angels have wings, but that you may know that they leave the heights and the most elevated dwelling to approach human nature. Accordingly, the wings attributed to these powers have no other meaning than to indicate the sublimity of their nature."[10]

From then on, though of course with some exceptions, Christian art represented angels with wings, as in the cycle of mosaics in the Basilica of Saint Mary Major (432-440).[11] Four- and six-winged angels, often with only their face and wings showing, drawn from the higher grades of angels, especially cherubim and seraphim, are derived from Persian art, and are usually shown only in heavenly contexts, as opposed to performing tasks on earth. They often appear in the pendentives of domes or semi-domes of churches.

Angels, especially the Archangel Michael, who were depicted as military-style agents of God came to shown wearing Late Antique military uniform. This could be either the normal military dress, with a tunic to about the knees, armour breastplate and pteruges, but also often the specific dress of the bodyguard of the Byzantine Emperor, with a long tunic and the loros, a long gold and jewelled pallium restricted to the Imperial family and their closest guards. The basic military dress is still worn in pictures into the Baroque period and beyond in the West (see Reni picture above), and up to the present day in Eastern Orthodox icons. Other angels came to be conventionally depicted in long robes, and in the later Middle Ages they often wear the vestments of a deacon, a cope over a dalmatic, especially Gabriel in Annunciation scenes - for example the Annunciation in Washington by Jan van Eyck.

Latter Day Saint beliefs

]] The Latter Day Saint movement (generally called "Mormons") view angels as the messengers of God. They are sent to mankind to deliver messages, minister to humanity, teach doctrines of salvation, call mankind to repentance, give priesthood keys, save individuals in perilous times, and guide humankind.[12]

Latter Day Saints believe that angels are former human beings or the spirits of human beings yet to be born,[13] and accordingly Joseph Smith taught that "there are no angels who minister to this earth but those that do belong or have belonged to it."[14] As such, Latter Day Saints also believe that Adam (the first man) is now the archangel Michael,[15][16] and that Gabriel lived on the earth as Noah.[13] Likewise the famous Angel Moroni first lived in a pre-Columbian American civilization as the 5th-century prophet-warrior named Moroni.

Joseph Smith, Jr. described his first angelic encounter thus:[17]

While I was thus in the act of calling upon God, I discovered a light appearing in my room, which continued to increase until the room was lighter than at noonday, when immediately a personage appeared at my bedside, standing in the air, for his feet did not touch the floor.

He had on a loose robe of most exquisite whiteness. It was a whiteness beyond anything earthly I had ever seen; nor do I believe that any earthly thing could be made to appear so exceedingly white and brilliant....

Not only was his robe exceedingly white, but his whole person was glorious beyond description, and his countenance truly like lightning. The room was exceedingly light, but not so very bright as immediately around his person. When I first looked upon him, I was afraid; but the fear soon left me.

Most angelic visitations in the early Latter Day Saint movement were witnessed by Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery, who both claimed (prior to the establishment of the Church[when?]) to have been visitated by the prophet Moroni, the Book of Mormon prophet Nephi, John the Baptist, and the Apostles Peter, James, and John. Later, at the dedication of the Kirtland Temple, Smith and Cowdery claimed to have been visited by Jesus, and subsequently by Moses, Elias, and Elijah.[18] People who claimed to have received a visit by an angel include the other two of the three witnesses: David Whitmer and Martin Harris. Many other Latter Day Saints, both in the early and modern church, have claimed to have seen angels, though Smith posited that, except in extenuating circumstances such as the restoration, mortals teach mortals, spirits teach spirits and resurrected beings teach other resurrected beings. [19]

Islam

Islam is clear on the nature of angels in that they are messengers of God. They have no free will, and can only do that which God orders them to do. Angels mentioned in the Quran include Gabriel (Jibril), Michael (Mikail), Haroot, Maroot, and the Angel of Death, Azrael.

Angels can take on different forms. Prophet Muhammad, the last Prophet of Islam, speaking of the magnitude of Angel Gabriel has said that his wings spanned from the Eastern to the Western horizon. At the same time, it is well known in Islamic tradition that angels used to take on human form.

The following is a Quranic verse that mentions the meeting of an angel with Mary, mother of Jesus: Surah Aal ‘Imran Chapter 3 verse 45

Behold! The angels said: O Mary! God giveth thee glad tidings of a Word from Him: his name is the Christ Eisa the son of Mariam, held in honour in this world and the Hereafter and of (the company of) those Nearest to God.

[Al-Qur’an 3:45]

Zoroastrianism

In Zoroastrianism there are different angel-like figures. For example, each person has one guardian angel, called Fravashi. They patronize human beings and other creatures, and also manifest God’s energy. The Amesha Spentas have often been regarded as angels, although they don't convey messages,[20] but are rather emanations of Ahura Mazda ("Wise Lord", God); they initially appear in an abstract fashion and then later became personalized, associated with diverse aspects of the divine creation.[21]

Bahá'í Faith

Bahá'u'lláh, the founder of the Bahá'í Faith, referred to angels as people who through the love of God have consumed all human limitations and have been endowed with spiritual attributes.[22]

`Abdu'l-Bahá, Bahá'u'lláh's son, defined angels as "those holy souls who have severed attachment to the earthly world, who are free from the fetters of self and passion and who have attached their hearts to the divine realm and the merciful kingdom".[23]

Furthermore, he said that people can be angels in this world:

"Ye are the angels, if your feet be firm, your spirits rejoiced, your secret thoughts pure, your eyes consoled, your ears opened, your breasts dilated with joy, and your souls gladdened, and if you arise to assist the Covenant, to resist dissension and to be attracted to the Effulgence!"[24]

Hinduism

In Hinduism, the word angel is synonymous with deva.[25]

Mysticism

The Persian Islamic Sufi mystic poet Jalal al-Din Muhammad Rumi wrote in his poem Masnavi:

I died as inanimate matter and arose a plant,
I died as a plant and rose again an animal.
I died as an animal and arose a man.
Why then should I fear to become less by dying?
I shall die once again as a man
To rise an angel perfect from head to foot!
Again when I suffer dissolution as an angel,
I shall become what passes the conception of man!
Let me then become non-existent, for non-existence
Sings to me in organ tones, 'To him shall we return.'[26]

The Christian (Swedish) writer Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772) wrote in his book Conjugial Love that a soul of a man and a soul of a woman who are (happily) united by marriage enter heaven and become an angel. This could be a married couple on earth or a couple that met after their earthly deaths.Template:Fact

Contemporary research

A 2002 study based on interviews with 350 people, mainly in the UK, who said they have had an experience of an angel, describes several types of such experiences: visions, sometimes with multiple witnesses present; auditions, e.g. to convey a warning; a sense of being touched, pushed, or lifted, typically to avert a dangerous situation; and pleasant fragrance, generally in the context of somebody's death. In the visual experiences, the angels described appear in various forms, either the "classical" one (human countenance with wings), in the form of extraordinarily beautiful or radiant human beings, or as beings of light.[27]

In the US, a 2008 survey by Baylor University's Institute for Studies of Religion , which polled 1,700 respondents, found that 55 percent of Americans, including one in five of those who say they are not religious, believe that they have been protected by a guardian angel during their life. An August 2007 Pew poll found that 68 percent of Americans believe that "angels and demons are active in the world". [28]

In Canada, a 2008 survey of over 1000 Canadians found 67 percent believe in angels. [29]

See also

Notes

  1. Angel in Online Etymological Dictionary
  2. 'angel, n', Oxford English Dictionary Online, Second Edition 1989
  3. Jewish Encyclopedia, accessed Feb. 15, 2008
  4. Sanhedrin 38b and Avodah Zerah 3b.
  5. cf. Sanhedrin 95b
  6. Proverbio(2007), pp. 25-38; cf. summary in Libreria Hoepli
  7. Proverbio(2007), pp. 29-38; cf. summary in Libreria Hoepli and review in La Civiltà Cattolica, 3795-3796 (2-16 August 2008), pp. 327-328.
  8. Proverbio(2007), pp. 81-89; cf. review in La Civiltà Cattolica, 3795-3796 (2-16 August 2008), pp. 327-328.
  9. Proverbio(2007) p. 66
  10. Proverbio(2007) p. 34
  11. Proverbio(2007), pp. 90-95; cf. review in La Civiltà Cattolica, 3795-3796 (2-16 August 2008), pp. 327-328.
  12. "God's messengers, those individuals whom he sends (often from his personal presence in the eternal worlds), to deliver his messages (Luke 1:11-38); to minister to his children (Acts 10:1-8, Acts 10:30-32); to teach them the doctrines of salvation (Mosiah 3); to call them to repentance (Moro. 7:31); to give them priesthood and keys (D. & C. 13; 128:20-21); to save them in perilous circumstances (Nehemiah 3:29-31; Daniel 6:22); to guide them in the performance of his work (Genesis 24:7); to gather his elect in the last days (Matthew 24:31)); to perform all needful things relative to his work (Moro. 7:29-33) — such messengers are called angels.", McConkie, Bruce R., "Angels", Angels, LightPlanet, http://www.lightplanet.com/mormons/basic/doctrines/angels_eom.htm#brm, retrieved on 2008-10-27 ;
    ^ Deseret (1966) p.36.
  13. 13.0 13.1 LDS Bible Dictionary-Angels
  14. D&C 130:5
  15. "Chapter 6: The Fall of Adam and Eve," Gospel Principles, 31, see also the entry for Adam in “Glossary,” Gospel Principles, 376
  16. D&C 107:24
  17. Joseph Smith History 1:30-33
  18. D&C 110
  19. The Fulness of Times
  20. Lewis, James R., Oliver, Evelyn Dorothy, Sisung Kelle S. (Editor) (1996), Angels A to Z, Entry: Zoroastrianism, pp. 425-427, Visible Ink Press, ISBN 0-7876-0652-9
  21. Darmesteter, James (1880)(translator), The Zend Avesta, Part I: Sacred Books of the East, Vol. 4, pp. lx-lxxii, Oxford University Press, 1880, at sacred-texts.com
  22. Smith, Peter (2000). "angels". A concise encyclopedia of the Bahá'í Faith. Oxford: Oneworld Publications. pp. 38-39. ISBN 1-85168-184-1. 
  23. 'Abdu'l-Bahá (1976). "THE SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLY". US Bahá’í Publishing Trust. http://reference.bahai.org/en/t/c/BWF/bwf-122.html. Retrieved on 2007-06-24. 
  24. 'Abdu'l-Bahá. "Ye Are The Angels". bcca.org. http://www.bcca.org/ref/books/bwf/0811yearetheangels.html. Retrieved on 2007-06-24. 
  25. Encyclopaedia Britannica
  26. Masnavi
  27. Emma Heathcote-James (2002): Seeing Angels. - London: John Blake Publishing.
  28. Harris, Dan (2008-09-18). "Most Americans Believe in Guardian Angels: More Than Half of Americans Say Guardian Angels Watch Over Us". ABC News. http://abcnews.go.com/US/Story?id=5833399&page=1. 
  29. News Service, Canwest (2008-12-23). "Believe in angels? You're not alone". ABC News. http://www.canada.com/topics/news/national/story.html?id=1108760. 

References

  • Proverbio, Cecilia (2007). La figura dell'angelo nella civiltà paleocristiana. Assisi, Italy: Editrice Tau. ISBN 8887472696. 

Further reading

  • Cheyne, James Kelly (ed.) (1899). Angel. Encyclopædia Biblica. New York, Macmillan.
  • Driver, Samuel Rolles (Ed.) (1901) The book of Daniel. Cambridge UP.
  • Davidson, A. B. (1898). "Angel". in James Hastings. A Dictionary of the Bible. I. pp. pages 93-97. http://www.ccel.org/ccel/hastings/dictv1/Page_93.html. 
  • Oosterzee, Johannes Jacobus van. Christian dogmatics: a text-book for academical instruction and private study. Trans. John Watson Watson and Maurice J. Evans. (1874) New York, Scribner, Armstrong.
  • Smith, George Adam (1898) The book of the twelve prophets, commonly called the minor. London, Hodder and Stoughton.
  • Bamberger, Bernard Jacob, (March 15 2006). Fallen Angels: Soldiers of Satan's Realm. Jewish Publication Society of America. ISBN 0-8276-0797-0
  • This article incorporates text from the article "Angel" in the Encyclopædia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain.
  • Briggs, Constance Victoria, 1997. The Encyclopedia of Angels : An A-to-Z Guide with Nearly 4,000 Entries. Plume. ISBN 0-452-27921-6.
  • Bunson, Matthew, (1996). Angels A to Z : A Who's Who of the Heavenly Host. Three Rivers Press. ISBN 0-517-88537-9.
  • Cruz, Joan Carroll, OCDS, 1999. Angels and Devils. TAN Books and Publishers, Inc. ISBN 0-89555-638-3
  • Davidson, Gustav. A Dictionary of Angels: Including the Fallen Angels. Free Press. ISBN 0-02-907052-X
  • Graham, Billy, 1994. Angels: God's Secret Agents. W Pub Group; Minibook edition. ISBN 0-8499-5074-0
  • Guiley, Rosemary, 1996. Encyclopedia of Angels. ISBN 0-8160-2988-1
  • Jastrow, Marcus, 1996, A dictionary of the Targumim, the Talmud Bavli and Yerushalmi, and the Midrashic literature compiled by Marcus Jastrow, PhD., Litt.D. with and index of Scriptural quotatons, Vol 1 & 2, The Judaica Press, New York
  • Kainz, Howard P., "Active and Passive Potency" in Thomistic Angelology Martinus Nijhoff. ISBN 90-247-1295-5
  • Kreeft, Peter J. 1995. Angels and Demons: What Do We Really Know About Them? Ignatius Press. ISBN 0-89870-550-9
  • Lewis, James R. (1995). Angels A to Z. Visible Ink Press. ISBN 0-7876-0652-9
  • Melville, Francis, 2001. The Book of Angels: Turn to Your Angels for Guidance, Comfort, and Inspiration. Barron's Educational Series; 1st edition. ISBN 0-7641-5403-6
  • Ronner, John, 1993. Know Your Angels: The Angel Almanac With Biographies of 100 Prominent Angels in Legend & Folklore-And Much More! Mamre Press. ISBN 0-932945-40-6.
  • Swedenborg, Emanuel (1979). Conjugal Love. Swedenborg Foundation. ISBN 0-87785-054-2
  • This article incorporates text from the Encyclopædia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain.

External links

Template:Commonscat

Christian angelic hierarchy
First Sphere
(liberated)

Seraphim • Cherubim • Thrones 

File:Paradiso Canto 31.jpg
Second Sphere
(active)

Dominions • Virtues  • Powers

Third Sphere
(active)

Principalities • Archangels • Angels


Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

See also Angel, ángel, Ángel, and ängel

Contents

English

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Wikipedia

Statue of an angel

Etymology

From Middle English aungel, from Old English engel, influenced by Old French angel, both from Late Latin angelus, from Ancient Greek ἄγγελος (angelos), messenger).

Pronunciation

Noun

Singular
angel

Plural
angels

angel (plural angels)

  1. A divine and supernatural messenger from a deity, or other divine entity.
  2. (biblical tradition) In Christian angelology, the lowest order of angels, below virtues.
  3. A selfless person.
    You made me breakfast in bed, you little angel.
  4. (military slang) An altitude, measured in thousands of feet.
    Climb to angels sixty.
  5. An affluent individual who provides capital for a startup, usually in exchange for convertible debt or ownership equity.

Hyponyms

Derived terms

Related terms

Translations

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

Verb

Infinitive
to angel

Third person singular
angels

Simple past
angeled

Past participle
angeled

Present participle
angeling

to angel (third-person singular simple present angels, present participle angeling, simple past and past participle angeled)

  1. (transitive, slang) To support by donating money.
    • 1984, “American Magazine”, vol. 118, page 88: 
      You've got to come to Chicago to meet Duell, and see Wilson, who's going to angel the show.

Descendants

Anagrams


Dutch

Pronunciation

Noun

angel m. (plural angels, diminutive angeltje, diminutive plural angeltjes)

  1. sting, dart (insect's organ)
  2. hook, fish-hook, angle

Old Frisian

Noun

angel

  1. angel

Slovene

Noun

angel m. (dual angela, plural angeli) animate

  1. angel

Declension


West Frisian

Noun

angel

  1. What a bee uses to sting when it feels threatened: a sting, a stinger.
  2. A fishing rod.

Simple English

[[File:|thumb|right|225px|Three angels, in a picture made in about 1420 by the Russian, Andrej Rublev.]]

In many religions, an angel is a good spirit. In the Old Testament, the New Testament, and the Qur'an angels appear frequently as the messengers of God. In all of these, angels appear like humans. They usually have wings like a bird. In Christianity angels are helpers of god who are ministers to the faithful. Angels do not have the ability to sin.

The word angel comes from the Greek word angelos which means "messenger".

In the Bible angels often punished peoples for their sins. They tested people's faith in God.

Angels in the Bible are usually pictured with wings and a halo. The wings represent their speed, and the halo represents their holiness. Few angels are named in the Bible apart from Michael and Gabriel.


Citable sentences

Up to date as of December 15, 2010

Here are sentences from other pages on Angel, which are similar to those in the above article.








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