Wednesday, January 04, 2012

A Little More on Michael the Archangel

"Not only did several of the references to angels in the Shepherd evidently mean the preexistent Christ, but Christ was also identified with the archangel Michael, 'who has the power over this people and is their captain. For this is he that puts the law into the hearts of believers'" (Jaroslav Pelikan, The Christian Tradition, 1:183).

Pelikan is quoting from Similitudes 8.3.3.

"The counterpart to this is afforded by an identification of Christ with the archangel Michael, an identification which is made in the Shepherd of Hermas, if not in a wholly consistent manner (Martin Werner, The Formation of Christian Dogma, 135).

"In a number of passages we read of an angel who is superior to the six angels forming God's inner council, and who is regularly described as 'most venerable', 'holy', and 'glorious'. This angel is given the name of Michael, and the conclusion is difficult to escape that Hermas saw in him the Son of God and equated him with the archangel Michael . . . There is evidence also, as we observed in the preceding paragraph, of attempts to interpret Christ as a sort of supreme angel; here the influence of Jewish angelology is discernible" (J.N.D. Kelly, Early Christian Doctrines, 95).

No comments: