Thus, the New Testament established the basis for the doctrine of the Trinity. The doctrine developed gradually over several centuries and through many controversies. Initially, both the requirements of monotheism inherited from the Hebrew Scriptures and the implications of the need to interpret the biblical teaching to Greco-Roman religions seemed to demand that the divine in Christ as the Word, or Logos , be interpreted as subordinate to the Supreme Being.
An alternative solution was to interpret Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as three modes of the self-disclosure of the one God but not as distinct within the being of God itself. The first tendency recognized the distinctness among the three, but at the cost of their equality and hence of their unity subordinationism. The high point of these conflicts was the so-called Arian controversy in the early 4th century. In his interpretation of the idea of God, Arius sought to maintain a formal understanding of the oneness of God. In defense of that oneness, he was obliged to dispute the sameness of essence of the Son and the Holy Spirit with God the Father.
It was not until later in the 4th century that the distinctness of the three and their unity were brought together in a single orthodox doctrine of one essence and three persons.
Over the next half century, St. Athanasius defended and refined the Nicene formula, and, by the end of the 4th century, under the leadership of St. Basil of Caesarea , St. Gregory of Nyssa , and St. Gregory of Nazianzus the Cappadocian Fathers , the doctrine of the Trinity took substantially the form it has maintained ever since.
It is accepted in all of the historic confessions of Christianity , even though the impact of the Enlightenment decreased its importance in some traditions. You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience and security. Article Media. In this way Angelology is brought into the closest connection with astrology and into agreement with monotheism. At times the angel clearly distinguishes himself from the Lord who sends him see Gen. Though appearing in human form see Gen. Being only a temporary manifestation of God, he can never replace His presence; wherefore Moses, not satisfied with the Lord's saying "I will send an angel before thee" Ex.
There prevailed no uniform conception of these angelic beings. In Jacob's dream they ascend and descend the ladder Gen. As guests of Abraham, they eat Gen. Whether in the popular mind these angels took the place of the powers of nature deified by the heathen nations elsewhere, or whether the psychological process was a different one, the monotheism of Israel necessitated the assumption of beings representing a heavenly hierarchy ready to mediate between man and God. The story of Creation makes no mention of the creation of angels, while from Job, xxxviii. According to Job, iv. According to Ps.
Similarly, the tree in paradise, whose fruit makes man like godly beings "knowing good and evil" Gen. Elsewhere the angels are referred to as partaking of God's wisdom see II Sam. Some such view underlies the verse: "Thou madest him a little lower than the angels [godly beings]" Ps.
During and after the Exile, under the influence of Babylonian and Persian systems of belief, a great change becomes noticeable in the angelic lore of the Jews. The more the monotheistic idea took hold of the people—permitting no being to interfere with the absolute supremacy of YHWH—the greater became the need of personifying the working forces of life, and of grouping them in ranks around the throne of God to form His royal court.
His transcendent nature demanded a more definite system of heavenly functionaries attending Him and awaiting His commands. Gradually the celestial government was formed after the pattern of the earthly one, as it presented itself, imposing and well organized, at the Persian court. But it is chiefly from a closer contact with Babylonia and her system of upper and lower spirits that the influx of new elements into Jewish Angelology can be traced; and this is confirmed by the rabbinical tradition, "The names of the angels were brought by the Jews from Babylonia" Yer.
Ezekiel ix. While all the revelations he receives come directly from the Lord, in one instance an angel in the form of a man acts as a divine interpreter, when the plan of a new city is mapped out for the prophet Ezek.
The prophet Zechariah, on the other hand, receives all his divine instructions no longer from God directly, but through "the angel of the Lord who talks with him" Zech. Instead of the Lord there appears to him "a man riding upon a red horse" as chief among those who "walk to and fro through the earth" ib. The four smiths ib. However, "the seven eyes of the Lord which run to and fro through the whole earth" Zech.
Volkes Israel," iii. Angelologie," p. It is in the Book of Daniel that a systematic classification of angels is first presented. In Josh. In Dan. Obviously, the underlying idea is the one expressed, if not already in Deut.
He is one of the chief princes, his name signifying, "Who is like God? The angel who interprets the visions to Zechariah appears in Dan. Above these two ranks a man-like being "clothed in linen," whose fiery appearance overawes Daniel viii. He is probably identical with the angel who stands before the Lord,the malak panaw Isa. Of particular interest is the name for angel Dan. Whether the name ' ir from ur , "being awake" is to be derived see Herzfeld iii.
I am Raphael, one of the seven holy angels, which present the prayers of the saints, and which go in and out before the glory of the Holy One" Tobit, xii. He presented himself to Tobias as an ordinary man to accompany him ib. The process begun in Daniel, and continued in the entire apocalyptic literature, finally led to the assumption of a heavenly hierarchy of stupendous proportions. The mystic lore, intended only for the initiated few, dwelt on the prophetic theophanies Ma'aseh Merkabah , "the heavenly throne chariot," Ezek.
It was the application of this principle, derived from the Babylonian magi and Mazdaism, that brought about a well-developed system of Angelology such as is found already in the writings preserved under the name of Enoch. The strange story of the "sons of God" in Gen. These two ideas then—the celestial throne with its ministering angels, and the cosmos with its evil forces to be subdued by superior angelic forces —are the determining factors of Angelology.
According to Enoch, xxi. Baruch, lv. Whether corresponding with the seven amshaspands of Persia or with the seven planetary spirits of Babylonia see Herzfeld, Kohut, and Beer in Kautzsch's "Apokryphen u. Urchristenthums," ii. Michael, named as the fourth, is probably meant to stand in the middle as chief Luecken, "Michael," p.
He is the leader of the seven Enoch, xc. On the other hand, Michael, Gabriel, Uriel, and Fanuel Penuel are introduced as "the four angels of the face of the Lord.
In Enoch, lxxi. They correspond with the four tutelary spirits or rulers of the four parts of the earth in the Babylonian mythology Beer, following Jensen, "Cosmologie d. Babylonier," p. For the twenty-four elders seated around the throne of God in heaven next to the four beasts and the seven spirits, Apoc. John, iv. Then again mention is made of seven classes of angels Enoch, lxi. They are endowed with seven angelic virtues—one more than is ascribed to the Messiah ibid. A parallel to this is offered by the Testaments of the Patriarchs in Test. Levi, iii. And in the heaven below this are the angels who bear the answers to the angels of the presence of the Lord, and in the heaven next to this are thrones and dominions in which hymns are offered to God; in the third heaven there are hosts of the armies ordained for the day of judgment, to work vengeance on the spirits of deceit and of Belial; the second has fire, snow, and ice ready, all the spirits of retribution for the day of judgment; and the lowest is gloomy because it is near the iniquities of men.
In another vision ibid.
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Levi sees seven men in white raiment, the seven archangels, each consecrating him and investing him with some insignia of the priesthood; while Michael, "the angel who intercedeth for the race of Israel," opens the gates of heaven for him, where he sees the holy Temple and the Most High upon a throne of glory ibid. In the Slavonic Book of Enoch, written a little before the beginning of the common era, the heavenly hierarchy is still more fully developed.
Enoch, taken up by two angels of fiery appearance Shemiel and Raziel, xxxiii. In the fifth he sees the watchers, four orders, in grief over their fallen fellow angels, but still singing, at his monition, and sounding four trumpets in praise of the Lord. In the sixth heaven legions of angels more resplendent than the sun, the archangels set over the sun, the stars, the seasons, the rivers, the vegetation, the living things, and the souls of men, with seven phenixes seraphim?
And finally, in the seventh heaven:.
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Day and night without ceasing they sing: 'Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of Sabaoth, heaven and earth are full of Thy glory! For the thrones, principalities, dominions, and powers, compare Col. Steinschneider, p. Reubeni to Gen. Of the vastness of the armies of heaven the following description is given by R.