The origin of Angels

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A thought provoking thesis on the origin of Angels.

Submitted: August 12, 2018

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Submitted: August 12, 2018

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The origin of Angels

 

What are Angels? I hear myself asking. The answer comes quickly, they are winged messengers of God, they do god’s bidding and look after us mortal humans.

 

Or do they?

So I found myself digging deep into Angelic lore, trying to sift through the popular myths and misconceptions of Angels and tried to get to the root source of these celestial beings.

 

So lets kick off with the basics about Angel lore and burst that bubble!

Name: Angel comes from the greek Angelos. And as we all know, Angelos is a masculine word, there is no feminine counterpart for it. So what does that mean? Well Angels are masculine! All male! There are no female Angels.

 

What! I hear you shout, get out of town,

What about all of those lovely religious paintings of beautiful Angelic female personages, and all of those songs about female Angels.

 

Sorry folks, but the female Angelic and baby cherub iconography didn’t really happen until the renaissances artists of the late 16th and 17th century was commissioned by the church to paint them. In fact nowhere in the scriptures are Angels described with wings and halos of light around their heads, again this is a misconception brought about by artists impressions and paintings.

Cherubs

It is interesting to say at this point that the image of a Cherub as we now recognise it as a fat winged baby could not be further from the truth as described in the Old Testament.

The most famous Cherub that everyone knows, but might not realise him as a, Cherub is none other than, Lucifer.

Yes, The Devil himself is the number one Cherub, guardian of the tree of knowledge in the Garden of Eden. He is described as having four heads, an eagle, a lion, an Ox and a human with the body of a winged lion.

Not our little bouncy baby with pigeon wings then!

 

But that can’t be right?

Yes it is! There is no mention in the bible of any female Angels, they are all Male and definitely no babies, and sorry but the idea of them being ‘A’ sexual so neither are they male or female, another misconception. They are male, pure and simple.

If you read the Talmud, then you will know the story of Shamyaza (Satan) and his followers of fallen Angels, they actually wanted to stay on Earth and marry human women they had fallen in love with, definitely male.

 

 

We now come to the famous Celestial Hierarchy

As drawn up by, Pseudo-Dyonisus  the Areopagite in the 5th to 6th century AD. And has been used as the blue print for the Christian celestial world ever since and does not have any choir of female Angels in it. So there you go!

 

So let’s put that argument to bed, there are no female Angels.

 Of course if you are reading this and have proof otherwise, then please let me know, as I would be greatly interested in reading it. As I am not trying to say there aren’t female Angels. I am just using this essay as a platform to show the evidence or lack of it and perhaps spark a friendly debate on this interesting subject.

 

Now let’s delve a bit deeper into the myths of Angelic beings.

 

What are the earliest recorded writings of Angels?

Zoroastrianism (5000-4000 BCE)

This is an ancient Persian religion named after Zoroaster its prophet, which many see as a precursor to not only Christianity but also Islam. It was predominant in what is now Iran and is seen by many as the first ever monotheistic religion stretching back to at least 4-5000 BCE.

Yazads are described in this religious mythos as spiritual beings who strive to help and protect humans. And every human has a yazata as their personal guardian throughout their lifetime.

Sounds like a guardian Angel? Although if you read anything about them, modern day texts simply pin the label Angel on them, however in Zoroastrianism, they are not described as Angels, but are minor demi gods who protect us from the forces of the Demon King, Ahriman  and his infernal influence.

The only images of a Yazata, show what looks like a human figure, sitting on a winged chariot or some kind of seat. So they do not actually have wings.

 

 

Sumeria  54000BCE (Modern day Kuwait)

Sumeria is regarded as the first civilisation that stopped being hunter gatherers and became farmers, learning to till the land and grow their own crops, herding and breeding animals.

The cradle of civilisation.

So if you read the bible you will know that Sumeria sits within the borders of the Garden of Eden as does Babylon, Egypt, and the Indus valley. As Eden is the paradise garden between four rivers, The Geon ( Nile) Phirat ( Euphrates) Chidekel (tigress) and Pishon (Ganges) according to the first century Jewish historian, Josephus.

And when you think about it, this location makes sense, it was lush with vegetation with an abundance of water supplies to irrigate the land and grow crops, and was full of wildlife and birds, in short a paradise, just as Eden is described.

 

 

So where do Angels come into this?

The Ancient Sumerians (5000BCE-2004 BC) left us with an abundance of knowledge from their culture in the form of the first writing, Cuneiform; (Basically making patterns in wet clay with pointed sticks) this information describes what can only be the first description of Angelic like beings.

Winged creatures sent from the sky by their gods to impart knowledge upon human kind and teach them farming skills, building techniques and of course weapon and armour making for war.

And what were these celestial beings called?

The Anunnaki.

Whether or not they can be classed as Angels is debatable, however they do fit the description: human in form, with wings and guiding their people.

 

Egypt  (3100BC -30BC)

It is interesting to mention a few Egyptian winged gods, as they appear in the familiar Angelic form, interestingly enough they are all female, something which the Bible does not mention, as all Angels are Male.

Ma’at, Nephthys, Isis.

Interestingly enough the myth of the Ark of the Covenant is described as having two Angelic winged figures on its lid, which could have been misinterpreted for Angels, but quite possibly could be images of Isis.

 There is a story in the Talmud which states that, Moses during his Exodus was aggrieved with Pharaoh for his cruelty to his people, that he raided their holy Temples one being the Temple of Isis and used this golden casket adorned with images of Isis as the Ark of the Covenant, which through time became known as winged Cherubs and Angels.

Again it is all conjecture and whether these winged goddesses could be classified as Angels is anyone’s guess.

 

Angels portrayed in religion.

There are four religions which depict Angels as we recognise them in their mythos, these are, Judaism, Christianity, Catholicism and Islam.

This however isn’t strange as all four of these religions stem from the same root source. They all claim to have the same god as Abraham, who was a priest in the Sumerian city of Ur and prayed to the god, Sin and no doubt was familiar with the myth of the Anunnaki.

In Judaism we have, Yahweh (which means, I am) Christianity and Catholicism simply call God, well, God! And in Islam God is Allah (Arabic for God)

So here we have a link to Ancient Sumeria and the Anunnaki.

Something for us to think about perhaps?

 

A round up of what we have found out so far

It seems that we have a merger of beliefs and myths brought together by migration and conquering of neighbouring civilisations whose creation myths have become interweaved in their culture and passed down through the ages to eventually form into what we now call Angels.

We have the guardian spirits of light from Zoroastrianism with the physical forms of the Sumerian Anunnaki which links in with Abraham and Yahweh which links into Islam, Christianity and Catholicism.

An interesting theory for sure.

What do you think?

 

 

 


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