Culture

What Do You Believe About Angels?

Last week in this ongoing series of weekly discussions about Bible mysteries I asked, “Who — Or What — Were the Nephilim?” and considered the potential identities of the “giants” and their parents, the “sons of God” from Genesis chapter 6. The question considered: is this actually saying that there were some kind of supernatural, angelic beings who “fell” to earth in ancient times, or are we to regard these as references to normal human men who just became deified as false pagan gods later?

Perhaps we’re getting a little ahead of ourselves. Before we ask if there could be humans who interbred with angels, perhaps first we have to make sense of just what an “angel” should be interpreted to mean.

Maybe a good place to start is with what could be interpreted as one early reference to angels. In Genesis 1:26 who is the “us” in “let us make mankind in our image”?:

Is it useful to perhaps understand angels as the natural forces and energies God set into motion to help Him create the universe?

In Genesis 3:24 what is a “cherubim”?

Are they really the cute, winged creatures of myth and fantasy like in my favorite movie, Fantasia?

Maimonides in The Guide of the Perplexed had a different take about angels, as he waged his battle against literalism….

From Chapter 49 in Part 1 of The Guide:

From Chapter 7 in Part 2:

Or do you take a more mystical approach, like me? Is anybody else sympathetic to the idea of understanding each of the Hebrew letters as angels?I really enjoy this video series about the esoteric meanings of Hebrew letters. Here are a few to get you started:

What do you think? How have you understood angels throughout your life? Any books to recommend?