Seperate angel thread

Seraphim said:

Nowhere in scripture is the idea that mortals become angels upon death. Two mortals were physically taken up into Heaven by God in the Bible but then again, they didn’t die. The dead remain in limbo, sheol, whatever until Judgement when they go to Heaven or Hell (at least according to Revelation). I would imagine, judging from what I’ve read, that the number of angels is the same now as it ever was, minus the fallen.

For that matter, you say “chances are you’ll be drafted into their ranks.” What are the other chances? I don’t think I’ve heard of angels getting promoted, although some do share responsibilites in various choirs.

Finally, angel is derived from angelos, meaning “messenger”. This is the primary duty of the 9th Choir, to bring forth the word of God to his peoples in the form of warnings, praise, prophecy, or whatever else.

Were the things you said backed by something, or were they just errors? I’m honestly curious if there’s some other reputable source out there so blatently contridicting all the other information.

P.S. This post isn’t intended to promote or deny the actual existance of God, but rather discuss what is commonly thought of God’s divine host in an academic sense, be it as theology or mythology - take your pick.

“I guess one person can make a difference, although most of the time they probably shouldn’t.”

Revelations gives one possible scenario; there are other biblical passages (Luke 16:19-31 or Mark 23:43 for example) which imply something different (though you could argue that one is a parable and therefore not necessarily literally true, and the other is only true for the one specific individual to whom it is addressed).

That said: I know a lot of people who subscribe to the “dead people = angels” concept because it’s pretty prevalent in pop culture. The Preacher’s Wife, It’s a Wonderful Life, and many other movies either imply or explicitly state this is true, and I can’t begin to list the number of cartoons I’ve seen containing variations on the theme. City of Angels turned it upside down.

I don’t know of any biblical support for the idea, but somehow I get the feeling that the average person is a lot more familiar with It’s a Wonderful Life et al. than with the Bible.

As far as guard duty goes one of my translations says that a ‘creature’ was placed outside the garden,cause know one knows quite what the hebrews meant. The whole angel hierarchy thing came about later i think. You’re probably right about the movies,torq. If Hollywood had written the Bible we would all know it by heart, course there would be a lot less sex and violence in it.

“Pardon me while I have a strange interlude.”-Marx

Mark, fair enough that there might be something else for dead folks to be doing from now until judgement, although Revelation mentions them waking up and that fits into the Jewish idea of sheol pretty well. Anyway, regardless of if my great-aunt Agnes is sleeping or laying back on a chaise lounge in Heaven, there’s nothing to support her being an angel, which was my whole point :slight_smile:

The angelic hierarchy as we know it is a fairly modern things, although Paul hints of one in his books (or at least of seperate angelic choirs), and even the concept of seraphim, cherubim and thrones as described in the Old Testament seems to show the concept of more than one type of angel (if not class of angel) has existed since the dawn of Judaism.

“I guess one person can make a difference, although most of the time they probably shouldn’t.”

Again with Gustav Davidson:

Davidson had a hobby of collecting angel lore that turned into a an obsession that finally led to his book, “A Dictionary of Angels”. His analysis is based on the collected lore of angels to be found in Judaic, Christian and Muslim writings, of which most is apocryphal but historically acceptable.

It seems clear if you accept his sources that ‘men into angels’ was considered, at times, a divine reward for virtue or holiness, and definitely not the general lot of mankind.

Never attribute to an -ism anything more easily explained by common, human stupidity.

Of course, out of those mentioned, Uriel was a definate archangel and as memory serves is a seraph – which in my opinion implies that Uriel was always Uriel and never a mortal. Further evidence can be gleaned from Uriel’s supposed mission of warning Noah of the Flood, which puts a spanner into Davidson’s timeline.

Metatron and Sandalphon are not members of any choir, but rather are mortals made celestial by the hand of God. For that matter, Sandalphon isn’t the angel of anything, but rather apparently just some tall guy hanging out in Heaven since all of your important members of the Host have some actual job.

My point was that, even with the above, mortals do not become angels. The few exceptions became archangels or special members of the Host, not angels of the 9th Choir.

Oh, and don’t take my mention of Davidson as a slam on him. I have the Dictionary and find it very useful, however he attempts to take hundreds of works and distill them into a single book. A mighty undertaking which leaves us with many contridictions and discrepancies.

“I guess one person can make a difference, although most of the time they probably shouldn’t.”

To be clear about Davidson, as I read him, he’s well aware that the contradictions and cross-names abound, and he doesn’t seem to be attempting anything authoritative or coherent. It’s more like a collection of references that can’t really be expected to make sense, given the breadth of his sources. He seems to go for scholarly completeness, rather than a text that would be religiously useful.

I noticed the same thing when I quoted him: Metatron and Sandalphon are supposed to be the two most powerful angels in heaven, and Uriel shows up in most lists of archangels. He doesn’t try to explain, only quotes the relevent sources.

Never attribute to an -ism anything more easily explained by common, human stupidity.

I think if “Hollywood” had written the Bible, it would have more sex and violence in it. See End of Days, though in that one, only the Devil gets any sex!

Hollywood’s motto seems to be, “Too much is not enough.”