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Re: [XTalk] Jesus and Angels

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  • Horace Jeffery Hodges
    Jeffrey Gibson: inciting them to apostacy Is that a variant spelling of apostasy ? On angels as holy ones, does this expression occur often, and what is
    Message 1 of 2 , Apr 14, 2007
      Jeffrey Gibson:

      "inciting them to apostacy"

      Is that a variant spelling of "apostasy"?

      On angels as "holy ones," does this expression occur often, and what is the Greek used?

      Jeffery Hodges

      "Jeffrey B. Gibson" <jgibson000@...> wrote:
      Apologies for cross posting.

      Here is a rough draft of the first section of an entry on "Jesus and
      Angels" that I am working on for a work on the Historical Jesus that
      Craig Evans is editing. I'd be grateful for your thoughts on it. I'd be
      especially grateful if you'd help me in adding citations from the
      Apocrypha, The Pseudepigrapha, the DSS, the NT, and from demonstrably
      early Rabbinic material that demonstrate the claims I've made about the
      nature, roles, and functions "angels" were thought to have in second
      Temple Judaism.

      If what appears here seems too concise, please remember that I am
      constrained to keep the entirety of the entry to approx. 1000 words, and
      I have not yet dealt completely with the topic "fallen angels", let
      alone at all with the topic of Jesus' view of angels.


      Jeffrey B. Gibson, D.Phil. (Oxon)
      1500 W. Pratt Blvd.
      Chicago, Illinois
      e-mail jgibson000@...


      Transcendent, incorporeal/1/, yet in earthly manifestation
      anthropomorphic, a-sexual, numinous, visually glorious /2/, and powerful
      beings who were regarded by all parties within 1st century Judaism (the
      Sadducees, despite the apparent testimony of Acts 23:8, being no
      exception/3/) as having been created by the God of Israel before or
      shortly after his establishment of the world/4/ who, under the explicit
      direction or the permissive will of their creator, carry out a variety
      of functions, depending on their status as “heavenly?and “holy?or as
      “rebellious?and fallen?

      “Holy ones?lt;br>The primary function of those within the former grouping is to serve as
      divine “messengers??envoys who speak in the name, and with the
      authority, of God himself. In this capacity they take on such tasks as
      announcing the births of important figures within the divine plan (cf.
      Gen 16:11?2; Gen 18:9?5; Judg 13:3?; Matt. 2; Lk 2), communicating
      “the word of the Lord?to prophets (Elijah, 2 Kgs 1:3, 15; 1 Kgs 13:18;
      1 Kgs 22:19?2; Isaiah 6; Jer 23:18, 23), and relaying (and
      interpreting) divine injunctions and promises or revealing the future to
      those to whom they are sent.

      But they also are commissioned as agents whose role is to give
      assurances to those in fear and service to those under trial, to protect
      those who travel (Dan. 10: 13, 20; 11: 1; 12: 1; 2 Macc. I I 3 Macc.
      6:18; Sus. 45; Bel 34-39; Enoch 20:5; J 35:17; lQH 5.21-22; IQS 9,15;
      lQM 9.16; . T. Jud. 3:10), to bring the prayers and the petitions of the
      faithful before God (Tob. 12:15; 2 Bar. I I G; I QH 6.13), and to
      intervene at crucial moments of a person’s life to change or guide that
      person’s actions (Hagar, Gen 16:9; Abraham, Gen 22:11?2; Balaam, Num
      22:31?5; the people of Israel, Judg 2:1?).

      Notable, too, is that they are given the task of requiting disobedience
      to God in both the present and, especially, at the end of the age, when
      they will be an instrument of divine judgement and justice against
      apostates and all enemies of God’s people.

      They were envisaged as an army (2 Baruch 5:11; 70; Test. Levi 3:3; Matt.
      Lk. 2 ) which is drawn up in hierarchical and distinct ranks headed by
      commanders called archangels,5 and were expected to participate in a
      final war against the wicked ((Zech. 14:13; lQH 3.35-36; 10.34-35;

      And as T.H. Gaster has noted, the “holy ones?were also portrayed as the
      controlling spirits of such natural phenomena as celestial bodies and
      winds (Enoch 19:1; 40:4-5; 60: 12, 16-21; 61:10; 72:1; Jub. 2:2-3; lQH
      1.10-11~ 47.7-13) and of the seasons as well as of such abstractions as
      peace (Enoch 40:8; 52:5; Test. Dan 6:5; Test. Asher 6:6; Test. Benj.
      6:1; cf. Isa. 33:7), healing (Tob. 33: 17; Enoch 10:7; 40:9), and death
      (2 Bar. 21:23; cf. Prov. 16:14).

      “Fallen angels?lt;br>The primary function of “fallen angels,?who seem always to be envisaged
      as under the leadership of an angelic prince (s8ar) -- identified
      variously as Mastema (Jub. 10:8), Beelzebul, Satan (Matt. 25:41; 2 Cor.
      12:7. 1 Pet. 3:19 f.), the enemy; the evil one, the ruler of this
      world, the adversary, the devil, Beliar and other names -- is to
      separate Israel from God by ensnaring them in evil, inciting them to
      apostacy, and leading the elect astray. But they also, in conjunction
      with their primary function, and in conformity with their rebellious
      nature, serve to arouse and direct the “Nations? over whom they were
      originally set as guardians /6/, to dominate, if not to destroy, God’s
      people in an attempt to frustrate or make impossible the implementation
      of God’s purposes in and for the world.


      1. But cf. Jubilees 15:27 which describes angels as circumcised.

      2. Cf., e.g., 2 Enoch 5; Lk. 2:

      3. On this, see D. Daube, JBL 109 (1990) 493-497; B.T. Viviano and
      Justin Taylor “Sadducees, Angels, and Resurrection (Acts 23:8-9),?JBL
      111 (1992) 496-498.

      4. Cf. Job 38:7; Jub. 2:2; Bereshith Rabba 3

      5. The number of these commanders varies. According to Tob. 12:1 G;
      Enoch 81:5; 90:21-22; 2 Esdr. 5:20), there are seven; according to Enoch
      40; 87:2-3; 88:1), four; according
      to Enoch 90:31, three.

      6. Cf. Dan. 10:13, 20, 21; 12:1, Jub. 15:31-32; 1 Enoch 89.59 among
      other texts.


      University Degrees:

      Ph.D., History, U.C. Berkeley
      (Doctoral Thesis: "Food as Synecdoche in John's Gospel and Gnostic Texts")
      M.A., History of Science, U.C. Berkeley
      B.A., English Language and Literature, Baylor University

      Email Address:




      Office Address:

      Assistant Professor Horace Jeffery Hodges
      School of English, Kyung Hee University
      1 Hoegi-dong, Dongdaemun-gu
      Seoul, 130-701
      South Korea

      Home Address:

      Dr. Sun-Ae Hwang and Dr. Horace Jeffery Hodges
      Sehan Apt. 102-2302
      Sinnae-dong 795
      Seoul 131-770
      South Korea

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