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Biblical arguments against the existence of angels?

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  • Biblical arguments against the existence of angels?

    I know that Spurgeon for one believed that there was no such person as Michael the Archangel, that this was only another name for (pre-Incarnate?) Christ. I know George Lamsa also didn't believe in angels, for instance rendering Hebrews 13:2 as "pious men." Though I know Lamsa is kind of sketchy as a source.

    This all got me thinking as to whether "Gabriel" and other "angels" are really in the Bible separately from God, either. What are some arguments for and against such an idea?

    Right off the bat, it doesn't seem possible to completely write Satan* out of the Bible. Discounting Job 1 as the later forgery I've heard it argued to be and then also discounting the alleged "Lucifer passages" of Isaiah and Ezekiel- Even if Revelation 12:4 and the Temptation in the desert were both "metaphorical" in some way, Luke 10:18 still seems inescapable. Could that verse and Luke 22:31 still just represent some kind of metaphor for human darkness?

    Revelation 22:9 is the only argument against it that I can think of. The "angel" does compare itself to the Prophets and Apostles, though. Could that indicate that this is actually some human servant of God (whether dead of alive)?

    The only references to angels (including Hebrews 13:2?) in the Bible could all be Theopanies or Christophanies, which is how I'd explain Gabriel. The "one like the son of man" in Daniel 7 might rule this out, as I'd like to say for the argument that Daniel's vision allows us to put different portrayals of God side by side in a vision, but I know not all scholars consider the one like the son of man to be Christ. According to the NET Bible commentary, some scholars see this figure as Michael (erhem) and some see this figure as the people of God corporately.






    *Yes, I know that I'm making the assumption that Satan should really be called an "angel." But even if he is a "nacash" or subordinate god or whatever, that would still make him a non-human, non-God spiritual being- an angel by any other name or the purposes of this thread.
    O Gladsome Light of the Holy Glory of the Immortal Father, Heavenly, Holy, Blessed Jesus Christ! Now that we have come to the setting of the sun and behold the light of evening, we praise God Father, Son and Holy Spirit. For meet it is at all times to worship Thee with voices of praise. O Son of God and Giver of Life, therefore all the world doth glorify Thee.

    A neat video of dead languages!

  • #2
    Originally posted by Kelp(p) View Post
    I know that Spurgeon for one believed that there was no such person as Michael the Archangel, that this was only another name for (pre-Incarnate?) Christ. I know George Lamsa also didn't believe in angels, for instance rendering Hebrews 13:2 as "pious men." Though I know Lamsa is kind of sketchy as a source.

    This all got me thinking as to whether "Gabriel" and other "angels" are really in the Bible separately from God, either. What are some arguments for and against such an idea?

    Right off the bat, it doesn't seem possible to completely write Satan* out of the Bible. Discounting Job 1 as the later forgery I've heard it argued to be and then also discounting the alleged "Lucifer passages" of Isaiah and Ezekiel- Even if Revelation 12:4 and the Temptation in the desert were both "metaphorical" in some way, Luke 10:18 still seems inescapable. Could that verse and Luke 22:31 still just represent some kind of metaphor for human darkness?

    Revelation 22:9 is the only argument against it that I can think of. The "angel" does compare itself to the Prophets and Apostles, though. Could that indicate that this is actually some human servant of God (whether dead of alive)?

    The only references to angels (including Hebrews 13:2?) in the Bible could all be Theopanies or Christophanies, which is how I'd explain Gabriel. The "one like the son of man" in Daniel 7 might rule this out, as I'd like to say for the argument that Daniel's vision allows us to put different portrayals of God side by side in a vision, but I know not all scholars consider the one like the son of man to be Christ. According to the NET Bible commentary, some scholars see this figure as Michael (erhem) and some see this figure as the people of God corporately.






    *Yes, I know that I'm making the assumption that Satan should really be called an "angel." But even if he is a "nacash" or subordinate god or whatever, that would still make him a non-human, non-God spiritual being- an angel by any other name or the purposes of this thread.
    Why on earth would one want to argue against the existence of angels?

    Comment


    • #3
      Lamsa was obsessed with the idea that God be the only true source of life and power and thought angels somehow detract from this. I don't buy it but I do sympathize with those who want to take away any possible object of heavenly glory other than God. Angels can sometimes be a source of temptation to idolatry, as John found out.
      O Gladsome Light of the Holy Glory of the Immortal Father, Heavenly, Holy, Blessed Jesus Christ! Now that we have come to the setting of the sun and behold the light of evening, we praise God Father, Son and Holy Spirit. For meet it is at all times to worship Thee with voices of praise. O Son of God and Giver of Life, therefore all the world doth glorify Thee.

      A neat video of dead languages!

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Kelp(p) View Post
        Lamsa was obsessed with the idea that God be the only true source of life and power and thought angels somehow detract from this. I don't buy it but I do sympathize with those who want to take away any possible object of heavenly glory other than God. Angels can sometimes be a source of temptation to idolatry, as John found out.
        It is utterly ridiculous:

        Problem: X can be treated as an idol
        Solution: Deny the existence of X

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Paprika View Post
          It is utterly ridiculous:

          Problem: X can be treated as an idol
          Solution: Deny the existence of X

          I agree. It is quite irrational to worship an angel. But people are dumb and fallible. From a practical standpoint, it would be nice to clear away as many potential distractions as possible.

          Besides, angels are completely superfluous. God doesn't need them for anything and He already has human beings to worship Him.
          O Gladsome Light of the Holy Glory of the Immortal Father, Heavenly, Holy, Blessed Jesus Christ! Now that we have come to the setting of the sun and behold the light of evening, we praise God Father, Son and Holy Spirit. For meet it is at all times to worship Thee with voices of praise. O Son of God and Giver of Life, therefore all the world doth glorify Thee.

          A neat video of dead languages!

          Comment


          • #6
            I think the topic of angels is one of the most misunderstood and abused topics in our times. I keep running into people who think when we die we become angels.
            "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

            Comment


            • #7
              I blame that crappy Country song.
              O Gladsome Light of the Holy Glory of the Immortal Father, Heavenly, Holy, Blessed Jesus Christ! Now that we have come to the setting of the sun and behold the light of evening, we praise God Father, Son and Holy Spirit. For meet it is at all times to worship Thee with voices of praise. O Son of God and Giver of Life, therefore all the world doth glorify Thee.

              A neat video of dead languages!

              Comment


              • #8

                Originally posted by Kelp(p) View Post
                I blame that crappy Country song.
                ... and shows like "touched by an angel", "heaven can wait", hymnology, bad preaching, bad teaching...

                (and, as much as I hate to admit it, my favorite movie - It's a Wonderful Life )
                "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

                Comment


                • #9
                  Àngel means messager. Whether men or spirit beings. Evangelist is two Greek words meaning good angel/messager.
                  . . . the Gospel of Christ, for it is [the] power of God to salvation to every [one] believing, . . . -- Romans 1:16.

                  . . . that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: . . . -- 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4.

                  Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: . . . -- 1 John 5:1.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    The Bible itself mentions the idea that people can be tempted to worship angels. In Revelation, even John admitted to bowing down to an angel (who quickly stopped him). But clearly John didn't see this as a good enough reason to dispose of the idea of angels. (Incidentally, I have no idea how one could take the idea of the dictating angel in Revelation to be metaphorical.)
                    "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Kelp(p) View Post
                      Besides, angels are completely superfluous. God doesn't need them for anything and He already has human beings to worship Him.
                      God does not need human beings either. I fail to understand this point.
                      Micah 6:8 He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by 37818 View Post
                        Àngel means messager. Whether men or spirit beings. Evangelist is two Greek words meaning good angel/messager.
                        I know that. My question is, does the Bible actually mention spiritual beings other than God?
                        O Gladsome Light of the Holy Glory of the Immortal Father, Heavenly, Holy, Blessed Jesus Christ! Now that we have come to the setting of the sun and behold the light of evening, we praise God Father, Son and Holy Spirit. For meet it is at all times to worship Thee with voices of praise. O Son of God and Giver of Life, therefore all the world doth glorify Thee.

                        A neat video of dead languages!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Jedidiah View Post
                          God does not need human beings either. I fail to understand this point.
                          He doesn't need us in the absolute sense, but we're crucial to His plan to create beings that can freely love Him. He doesn't need angels when He's got us, is my point. See my response to truthseeker for the rest of my reasoning.
                          O Gladsome Light of the Holy Glory of the Immortal Father, Heavenly, Holy, Blessed Jesus Christ! Now that we have come to the setting of the sun and behold the light of evening, we praise God Father, Son and Holy Spirit. For meet it is at all times to worship Thee with voices of praise. O Son of God and Giver of Life, therefore all the world doth glorify Thee.

                          A neat video of dead languages!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Kelp(p) View Post
                            I know that. My question is, does the Bible actually mention spiritual beings other than God?
                            Hebrews 1:7, "And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, . . ." Psalm 104, "Who maketh his angels spirits; . . ." Psalm 103:21, ". . . Bless ye the LORD, all [ye] his hosts; [ye] ministers of his, . . ." Hebrews 1:14. ". . . Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?"
                            . . . the Gospel of Christ, for it is [the] power of God to salvation to every [one] believing, . . . -- Romans 1:16.

                            . . . that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: . . . -- 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4.

                            Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: . . . -- 1 John 5:1.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by 37818 View Post
                              Hebrews 1:7, "And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, . . ." Psalm 104, "Who maketh his angels spirits; . . ." Psalm 103:21, ". . . Bless ye the LORD, all [ye] his hosts; [ye] ministers of his, . . ." Hebrews 1:14. ". . . Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?"
                              Yes, I admit that passages like this seem pretty inescapable.
                              O Gladsome Light of the Holy Glory of the Immortal Father, Heavenly, Holy, Blessed Jesus Christ! Now that we have come to the setting of the sun and behold the light of evening, we praise God Father, Son and Holy Spirit. For meet it is at all times to worship Thee with voices of praise. O Son of God and Giver of Life, therefore all the world doth glorify Thee.

                              A neat video of dead languages!

                              Comment

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