Encyclopedia of Christianity Online

Get access

(1,566 words)

1. Biblical

1.1. OT

The word “angel” (Lat. angelus, Gk. angelos) is a general term for two groups of beings that the OT clearly differentiates. Heb. mal’āk (messenger) lies behind the term.

1.1.1. The phrase malak YHWH ’ĕlōhîm denotes the messenger, representative, or emissary of God. This kind of angel does not belong permanently to the heavenly world and has no wings. In case after case the form is human (e.g., Genesis 16; 18; 28; 32; Exodus 3; Numbers 22–23; Judges 6; 1 Kings 19; 2 Kings 1). There is not always a plain distinction bet…

Cite this page
Bühner, Jan-Adolf and Fritzsche, Hans-Georg, “Angel”, in: Encyclopedia of Christianity Online. Consulted online on 30 November 2021 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2211-2685_eco_A278>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004169678, 20080512

▲   Back to top   ▲