Thursday, July 14, 2005

God the Father-Part 4

Although the canonical Hebrew-Aramaic Scriptures do not categorize YHWH as the Father of the holy angels in an explicit manner, they do imply that YHWH is the Father of all the holy spirit creatures by means of a literary phenomenon that Max Black calls "metaphorical entailment." The OT writers apply the terminology “sons” to the sacred spirits that seem to comprise God’s heavenly regiment. For instance, one finds the Hebrew expression “sons of God” (bene elohim) used with reference to the angels in Genesis 6:2; Job 1:6; 2:1-6; 38:4-7; Ps 89:6.[1] The term “son” entails the correlative relational concept “father.” If the angels are (metaphorical) sons, then they must have a (metaphorical) father. Therefore, one can evidently say that YHWH is a Father to the bene elohim via a process of metaphorical entailment. The one term “sons” implies the corresponding term “father.” Moreover, Scripture indicates that the angels are created sons of God, not literally begotten progeny.[2] It thus seems apropos to consider YHWH a Father to the holy angels in a metaphorical sense.

[1] The intertestamental literature also refers to the angels as “sons.” See Jubilees 5:1; Enoch 6:2. Jubilees 2:2; Sla. Enoch 29:3.

[2] Wolfson, Philosophy of the Church Fathers, 289.

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