Angels



Angels
Around our pillows golden ladders rise,
And up and down the skies,
With winged sandals shod,
The angels come and go,
The messengers of God!
Richard Henry Stoddard

Angelos, AYN jul, are both words that mean “angel”. This goes to show that angels are widespread though out the world. Beliefs and ideas on angels are common among a variety of people in many places and within many religions. As to what a “true” angel is, in definition, is undecided. Whether there really are angels is the supreme question.
The idea of an angel dates back to the 5th century to the religion of Zoroastrianism. Angels were mere agents of a supreme deity. It was believed that there were six archangels who guarded Ahura Mazda (the wise Lord). (Americana 837) The Jews believed that the origin of a devil is from the fallen angels. Judaism accepted the idea that the end of the world would be when the angels of God would defeat Satan and

his fallen angels once and for all. The Christians then adopted the beliefs on angels. In fact, at one point church councils worried that Christian’s devotion to angels was challenging their devotion to God. (Lewis 220, 221) Angels were actually mentioned in the Christian Bible. There are over 300 references within the New and Old Testament. In the Bible the biblical God sent angels out to carry messages, protect, destroy, and offer praise. However, in the Hebrew scriptures, or the Old Testament, angels play a much larger role. They constitute the court of heaven and they surround the throne of God. (Lewis xiii, 72,73,)
Just as the Christians adopted ideas about angels from Judaism, Islam adopted their ideas from Christianity. In Islamic theology, angels are said to have been created before man and were of a finer nature. Just as angels were under God in the Christian religion, angels in Islam serve, worship and obey their god, Allah. Angels are also mentioned in the Koran and play a very important role in Islam. (Lewis 220, 221)
Because of the varieties of people and religions in the world, there are many beliefs as to what angels are and what their purpose is. Experts who study angels say that angels are created in the human mind in response to a need. People get great comfort in believing in angels in that they hear their prayers, guide, protect, and encourage. There is a rising interest in angels especially in this age of uncertainty. (Lewis xiii-xvi) It is believed that angels were created by God and are not humans who have died. They can not marry or reproduce. It was said that angels are placed a little higher than man is but through redemption man becomes higher. (“Fascinating Facts”)


Angels, archangels, cherubim, seraphim were and still are sources of inspiration for painters and sculptors. Until the 10th century angels were curiously formed because no one knew the true appearance of an angel. Different artists portrayed angels in different ways. Giotto was the first to approach and ideal represtention of angels. Fra Angelico was the first to succeed in portraying absolutely unearthly angels. They did not resemble any human creature. Michelangelo’s angels had no wings and da Vinci’s angels smiled. Rachael’s angels were sexless, spiritual, and graceful. He displayed their intelligence and power. Angels were usually shown as feminine. In some cases though, angels resembled a beautiful boy or happy child. (Lewis 56-58)
Of all the different beliefs in angels, some are very common beliefs among them. One is that they are completely loyal to whomever they are below. They are loyal also to the people they are helping because they don’t have their own agenda. Another common characteristic is infallible discernment. Angels are separated from the human race therefore they are not subject to the confusions of our world. For example, they know the difference between right and wrong and there is no question. An angel’s thoughts and actions are pure. Another point about angels is that among their enormous number, no two are alike.
Many people believe in angels because it gives them comfort, others believe because they themselves have had experiences with them. There are three types of ways that communication with these spiritual beings is possible. The first way is through audio presentation. In this way, the receiver hears