Angels had always been the creatures of fantasy and imaginations of minds. But many religions had certain angels whom they mentioned in their testaments or holy books. Likewise, there’s a concept of Biblically accurate angels. So several humans wonder about the reality of their existence and what angels look like.
The believers of Christianity, Hebrew, or Islam must have a preconception of angels. But many realistic and practical people might not believe in it and call them things from books.
Another debate on angels is how they look. Movies, classics, fantasy series, and fantasy novels had demonstrated an adorable and serene appearance of them. But do the scriptures of the holy books contrast with them? It’s a long debate but one first needs to know what angels are and their origin to get a comprehensive outlook on this topic.
Origin of the word ‘Biblically accurate angels’
Recently, on Reddit, some people posted artistic depictions of angels that infused curiosity among many young people about their real appearance. The word ‘angel’ has a couple of origins that lead to thousands of years ago. Approximately, if one looks into Greek contexts, it was derived from the word ‘Angelos’. In turn, the Greek word Angelo was coined from the Hebrew word Mal’ akh (meaning messenger).
After searching through the Bible, several verses do mention the heavenly angels that transcend between the humane and celestial realms.
The first description of the sacred creature in Ezekiel 1. The Lord gives Ezekiel a vision of his throne and he describes Angelos as; “A wheel within a wheel… There were eyes all around four of their rims” (V.16:18). These creatures serve the wheel of the mighty Lord.
Apart from them, there are also citations of other creatures having four wings and four faces; an ox, man, eagle, and lion. Those creatures are known as Cherubim. Correspondingly, both Isiah and Revelations also had the portrayal of them.
Isaiah and John had received visions of God’s heavenly throne compartment. In those revelations, there’s a depiction of heavenly species having 6 wings. They cover their face and feet with four of their wings whereas two wings retain them in the air; they’re known as Seraphim.
Another biblically accurate angel known as Malakim carries out the judgment on God’s rulings in the Old Testament. Whereas, in the New Testament, they acted as messengers. They’re described as the closest being to humans and there weren’t any citations to wings. Hence, the earliest Christians portrayed them as human-like beings with no wings.
In the late fourth century, the image of angels was changed.
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Do Biblically accurate angels look like humans?
Biblically accurate angels’ appearance
There are many occurrences where mystical beings were seen as normal humans. However, it’s believed that the human form is just a decoy, rather than their real form. Consequently, it makes them shapeshifters. Following are some true incidents where they’re seen in human forms;
- If one observes the gospel accounts of Mary and Mary Magdalene when they moved to visit Jesus’ tomb in the morning (of the day on which he was resurrected). Mathew and John’s accounts have certain portrayals of angels at that time. Whereas Luke explains them as two men with dazzling white silhouettes.
- At the beginning of Acts, when Jesus ascended to heaven – it’s said that two men donned in white were also standing beside him. Those two men in white dresses are also characterized as Biblically Accurate Angels.
- In Daniel, there’s another example of human-like angels. In Daniel 8, when the prophet Daniel receives a vision of end times, there comes a heavenly messenger Gabriel. Gabriel instructs Daniel about the meaning of the vision. Later, he described him as “someone who appeared to be a man” in Vol 15.
- In Genesis 18, God appears to Abraham accompanied by three other men. Although, these men aren’t vividly talked about. Religious scholars consider them heavenly messengers as they hadn’t any names and had the sole purpose of serving the Lord and acting upon the tasks he had assigned them.
From the above discussion, it becomes apparent that messengers of God come to earth, only to fulfill His commands and guide humans. When they have to interact with humans, they take on the appearance of humans. While on the contrary, they also appear in numerous different shapes and forms in different revelations.
But when they have to make contact with the people of Earth, they restrict themselves and change their appearances. In short, biblically accurate angels could have more than one form and can’t be defined properly yet.
Different types of biblically accurate angels
Cherubim is responsible for guarding Eden. According to Biblical books, Eden is such a terrestrial place filled with the purest forms of life and commonly known as Paradise. Eve and Adam lived in paradise before their first disobedience in the heavenly garden.
In the Book of Ezekiel, the prophet describes the appearance of Cherubim as; a being with four faces — one of an eagle, one of an ox, one of a human, and one of a lion. Apart from that, it has two pairs of wings and bull hooves as feet. One set of wings covers its body while the other is used for flying.
Renaissance sculptures represent them as a child with stunning chubby and naked bodies with wings. They’re also titled Cherubs. Their artistic sculptures and illustrations are quite different from what people usually imagine them as. Another significant feature of them is that they are hybrids (have characteristics of both humans and animals).
Cherubs are primarily associated with divinity and cupids (small babies wearing diapers, sometimes have a trumpet or arrowheads with them which symbolize romantic love). One could associate their appearance with Roman and Greek Gods. The biblical mixed image of Cherubs is repeatedly attributed to cultural interactions with Egypt, Syria, and ancient Babylon.
By the catholic hierarchy, Seraphim holds the most superior rank among all divine messengers. In composition, the four-winged Seraphim is drawn blue to exemplify the sky while the six-winged seraphim are painted red to demonstrate fire.
There are a few references to Seraphims which makes their historical influence evident. The Hebrew word ‘Saraph’ means ‘venomous desert vipers’ and ‘Seraph’ define something ‘to burn or is burning.’
Seraphims have six wings; two of them are for flying whereas the remaining four cover their bodies (heads and feet) to exhibit humility towards the gracious Lord. They are ranked second among the catholic angel’s hierarchy; their symbolic expression is of holiness and humility.
Proper Isiah describes them as angelic beings that are always around the Almighty Lord’s throne, worship him and act on his commands. Seraphim chant, “Holy, holy, … is my almighty God, everything on earth is wholly filled with his glory” collectively when God approaches them.
These biblically accurate angels are the epitome of comfort, assistance, and forgiveness, hence, they instill fear in the person due to their spiritual nobility. Several historians suggest that the flames and wings of this messenger of God are established in connection with the Egyptian imagery and description of a cobra.
In Ezekiel (10:12);
“Their whole bodies, comprising their backs, hands, and wings, were covered with plenty of eyes all over, as were their four wheels.”
In Ezekiel’s vision, these creatures are the most bizarre and queer. Their uncanny appearance makes them more fascinating. The Wheels or Ophanim are portrayed as interlocking two or three gold wheels. Each wheel had several sets of eyes on its exterior surface.
As such, it doesn’t change directions while moving but flies in the sky (floating on the ground). “Many-eyed ones” is another name for Ophanim. Apart from that, they have numerous other names like; whirlwinds, spheres, or thrones.
There’s an intriguing theory regarding this being. As their shape is spherical just like the comments and our universe’s elements. One is that it might be the chariot of the Lord as they’re not considered angels in the Bible. Hence, they’re often thought of as the ones guarding the throne of the Lord, and the nearest being that’s nearest to Him.
In various religions, it’s believed as such but there is no authentic description of them which makes this belief obvious that Ezekiel’s vision of these spheres might be a consequence of ingesting psychedelic substances.
Others are like Jose F. Blumrich’s theory, a former scientist at NASA who considers Ophanim as what a UFO looks like today.
How do biblical accurate angels are described in the Bible?
Angels inhabited earth even before humans were a primary notion for Christians and still, it’s for many. Likewise, they’re spirits, immortal beings that would never lose their lantern of life. In the Bible, they have been interpreted in such a way;
“They are spirit creatures… they’re immortal.”
In Luke 20:36, it’s said that;
Do all angels are nice?
No, not all angels are good and nice but there could be some wicked ones that love to tease or harm humans. Everyone knows about Satan or Lucifer, the patch angel that was thrown from the celestial realm as he disobeyed God and created an army of fallen angels (angels that were thrown into hell from heaven like Beelzebub, Duriel, Alais, and Decur).
Those fallen beings aged a war in heaven and faced God’s agony. ‘Paradise Lost’ by John Milton also depicts the entire religious context in his book. Psalms (78:49) reads;
“He unleashed a hoop of destroying angels against them in his hot fury, his resentment, his indignation, and his animosity.”
Do Biblically accurate angels have emotions?
The Biblical accurate angels of old Testaments had desires and lust for women, they mated with the women of birth and gave rise to Nephilim and giants. Similarly, the archangels had feelings of jealousy and callousness that’s why they waged a war against God and refused to back down.
Do people worship angels?
Angels are creatures that worship God but they’re not worshipped by humans although they seem to possess great powers. Their only purpose is fulfilling the demands of the Lord and not taking His worship. One such being said to John in Revelation 22:9;
“It is not acceptable for you to do that! In many ways, I am a fellow subject, with you and your brothers the prophets, as well as those who keep these books. Worship God!”
Glorious humanoids with gilded armor, gleaming wings, flawless faces, and an all-righteous nature that brings tenderness, gratification, and solace — that’s how we resemble angels. That is, after all, how we have characterized these majestic creatures throughout history in every manner of art and literature.
But it isn’t the truest portrayal of biblically accurate angels. Rather, angels could have bizarre as well as gleaming, or human-like forms as well. What do you think angels look like, comment below.