Friday, August 7, 2015

Angels mediate revelation

This isn't intended to sum up the biblical position on angels or the bible, but it is interesting.  Hebrews 2:2 writes,

For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast...

Jewish tradition suggests that even though the Bible came from God, it came from God through angels.    St Stephen notes in Acts 7:53,

You who received the law as ordained by angels...

Galatians 3:19 continues the same thought, albeit with one modification.  St Paul writes,

[The Law] having been ordained by angels by the agency of a mediator...

So it appears that Jesus [as Word] is the mediator, to be sure, but he sends his law to angels who send it to us.  It looks like there are multiple mediations.

Why is this important?  Conservative Evangelicalism (and the entirety of TR Reformed theology) overreacted to American inanity on angels.  In my discussion at PB on near-death-experiences, even though I was basically quoting Augustine, people were "worried about the direction" I was taking.  I was worried that they hadn't gotten their angelology from the Bible.  


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  2. But the question is whether this implies a chain of mediators. On Sinai, God could not be seen and yet Moses was able to receive the Law. But elsewhere, many times, Israelites would meet with that mysterious 'Angel of the Lord' and know they saw God and expected death.

    My point is: does this mean there is a chain of mediators (God>Christ>angels>Moses) or that God mediated the first covenant through angels where the second came through His Son. The latter seems to be the argument of the New Testament, another reason why the New (which turns out to be the eternal and everlasting covenant) is superior to the Old.

    But, despite this argument, you're absolutely right about American Christians who are utterly skeptical about angels. They are mightily confused and have, like Jefferson (a theological forefather to many), taken a knife to the Canon.

    1. Maybe for the TR, in some cases, they are hyper-rational and hyper-calvinist in their accounts of agency. It might be for them that to say angels gave the Torah is tantamount to being a deist.

  3. Also depends on what happens in the mediation. Are we talking about mediating the blessings of salvation? In the New Covenant I would say no. Are we talking about Plotinus's chain of being? Again, I don't think so.