An archangel // is an angel of high rank. The word "archangel" itself is usually associated with the Abrahamic religions, but beings that are very similar to archangels are found in a number of religious traditions.
An angel is generally a supernatural being found in various religions and mythologies. Abrahamic religions often depict angels as benevolent celestial beings who act as intermediaries between God and humanity. Other roles of angels include protecting and guiding human beings, and carrying out tasks on behalf of God. Abrahamic religions often organize angels into hierarchies, although such rankings may vary between sects in each religion. Such angels may receive specific names or titles. People have also extended the use of the term "angel" to various notions of spirits or figures found in other religious traditions. The theological study of angels is known as "angelology". Angels expelled from Heaven are referred to as fallen angels as distinct from the heavenly host.
The Abrahamic religions, also referred to collectively as Abrahamism, are a group of Semitic-originated religious communities of faith that claim descent from the Judaism of the ancient Israelites and the worship of the God of Abraham. The Abrahamic religions are monotheistic, with the term deriving from the patriarch Abraham.
The English word archangel is derived from the Greek ἀρχάγγελος (arch- + angel, literally "chief angel" or "angel of origin").It appears only twice in the New Testament in the phrase "with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God" (1 Thessalonians 4:16) and in relation to 'the archangel Michael' (Jude 9). The corresponding but different Hebrew word in the Hebrew Scripture (Old Testament) is found in two places as in "Michael, one of the chief princes" (Dan 10:13) and in "Michael, the great prince" (Dan 12:1).
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages, native to Greece, Cyprus and other parts of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea. It has the longest documented history of any living Indo-European language, spanning more than 3000 years of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the major part of its history; other systems, such as Linear B and the Cypriot syllabary, were used previously. The alphabet arose from the Phoenician script and was in turn the basis of the Latin, Cyrillic, Armenian, Coptic, Gothic, and many other writing systems.
Michael is an archangel in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. In Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Anglican, and Lutheran systems of faith, he is called "Saint Michael the Archangel" and "Saint Michael". In the Oriental Orthodox and Eastern Orthodox religions, he is called "Saint Michael the Taxiarch".
Michael and Gabriel are recognized as archangels in Judaism, Islam, the Baha'i Faith, and by most Christians. Some Protestants consider Michael to be the only archangel. Raphael—mentioned in the deuterocanonical Book of Tobit—is also recognized as an archangel in the Catholic and Orthodox churches. Gabriel, Michael, and Raphael are venerated in the Roman Catholic Church with a feast on September 29 (between 1921 and 1969, March 24 for Gabriel and October 24 for Raphael), and in the Eastern Orthodox Church on November 8 (if the Julian calendar is used, this corresponds to November 21 in the Gregorian). The named archangels in Islam are Jibrael, Mikael, Israfil, and Azrael. Jewish literature, such as the Book of Enoch, also mentions Metatron as an archangel, called the "highest of the angels", though the acceptance of this angel is not canonical in all branches of the faith.
Gabriel, in the Abrahamic religions, is an archangel. He was first described in the Hebrew Bible and was subsequently adopted by other traditions.
Christians are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. The words Christ and Christian derive from the Koine Greek title Christós (Χριστός), a translation of the Biblical Hebrew term mashiach (מָשִׁיחַ).
Raphael is an archangel responsible for healing in the traditions of most Abrahamic religions. Not all branches of these religions consider the identification of Raphael to be canonical.
Some branches of the faiths mentioned have identified a group of seven Archangels, but the named angels vary, depending on the source. Gabriel, Michael, and Raphael are always mentioned; the other archangels vary, but most commonly include Uriel, who is mentioned in 2 Esdras .
The concept of Seven Archangels is found in some works of early Jewish literature.
Uriel is one of the archangels of post-exilic rabbinic tradition, and also of certain Christian traditions.
2 Esdras is the name of an apocalyptic book in many English versions of the Bible. Its authorship is ascribed to Ezra, a scribe and priest of the 5th century BCE, although modern scholarship places its composition between 70 and 218 CE. It is reckoned among the apocrypha by Roman Catholics, Protestants, and most Eastern Orthodox Christians. 2 Esdras was excluded by Jerome from his Vulgate version of the Old Testament, but from the 9th century onwards the Latin text is sporadically found as an appendix to the Vulgate, inclusion becoming more general after the 13th century.
In Zoroastrianism, sacred texts allude to the six great Amesha Spenta (literally "Bounteous/Holy Immortals")of Ahura Mazda.
Zoroastrianism or Mazdayasna is one of the world's oldest continuously practiced religions. It is a heterodox yet orthopraxic faith centered in a dualistic cosmology of good and evil and an eschatology predicting the ultimate conquest of evil with theological elements of henotheism, monotheism/monism, and polytheism. Ascribed to the teachings of the Iranian-speaking spiritual leader Zoroaster, it exalts an uncreated and benevolent deity of wisdom, Ahura Mazda, as its supreme being. Major features of Zoroastrianism, such as messianism, judgment after death, heaven and hell, and free will may have influenced other religious and philosophical systems, including Second Temple Judaism, Gnosticism, Greek philosophy, Christianity, Islam, the Bahá'í Faith, and Buddhism.
In Zoroastrianism, the Amesha Spenta are a class of divine entities emanating from Ahura Mazda, the highest divinity of the religion. Later Middle Persian variations of the term include the contraction 'Ameshaspand' as well as the specifically Zoroastrian 'Mahraspand' and 'Amahraspand'.
Ahura Mazda is the creator and highest deity of Zoroastrianism. Ahura Mazda is the first and most frequently invoked spirit in the Yasna. The literal meaning of the word Ahura is "lord", and that of Mazda is "wisdom".
An increasing number of experts in anthropology, theology and philosophy, believe that Zoroastrianism contains the earliest distillation of prehistoric belief in angels.
The Amesha Spentas of Zoroastrianism are likened to archangels. They individually inhabit immortal bodies that operate in the physical world to protect, guide, and inspire humanity and the spirit world. The Avesta explains the origin and nature of archangels or Amesha Spentas.
To maintain equilibrium, Ahura Mazda engaged in the first act of creation, distinguishing his Holy Spirit Spenta Mainyu, the Archangel of righteousness. Ahura Mazda also distinguished from himself six more Amesha Spentas, who, along with Spenta Mainyu, aided in the creation of the physical universe. Then he oversaw the development of sixteen lands, each imbued with a unique cultural catalyst calculated to encourage the formation of distinct human populations. The Amesha Spentas were charged with protecting these holy lands and through their emanation, also believed to align each respective population in service to God.
The Amesha Spentas (amesha meaning eternal and spenta meaning brilliance and beneficence) as attributes of God are:
The Hebrew Bible uses the term מלאכי אלוהים (malakhi Elohim; Angels of God),The Hebrew word for angel is "malach," which means messenger, for the angels מלאכי יי (malakhi Adonai; Angels of the Lord) are God's messengers to perform various missions - e.g. 'angel of death'; בני אלוהים (b'nei elohim; sons of God) and הקדושים (ha-q'doshim; the holy ones) to refer to beings traditionally interpreted as angelic messengers. Other terms are used in later texts, such as העליונים (ha-elyonim, the upper ones, or the supreme ones). References to angels are uncommon in Jewish literature except in later works such as the Book of Daniel, though they are mentioned briefly in the stories of Jacob (who according to one interpretation wrestled with an angel) and Lot (who was warned by angels of the impending destruction of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah). Daniel is the first biblical figure to refer to individual angels by name. It is therefore widely speculated that Jewish interest in angels developed during the Babylonian captivity. According to Rabbi Simeon ben Lakish of Tiberias (230–270 CE), specific names for the angels were brought back by the Jews from Babylon.
There are no explicit references to archangels in the canonical texts of the Hebrew Bible). In post-Biblical Judaism, certain angels came to take on a particular significance and developed unique personalities and roles. Though these archangels were believed to have ranked amongst the heavenly host, no systematic hierarchy ever developed. Metatron is considered one of the highest of the angels in Merkavah and Kabbalist mysticism and often serves as a scribe. He is briefly mentioned in the Talmud,and figures prominently in Merkavah mystical texts. Michael, who serves as a warrior and advocate for Israel, is looked upon particularly fondly. Gabriel is mentioned in the Book of Daniel and briefly in the Talmud, as well as many Merkavah mystical texts. The earliest references to archangels are in the literature of the intertestamental periods (e.g., 4 Esdras 4:36).
In the Kabbalah there are ten archangels, each assigned to one sephira: Metatron, Raziel (other times Jophiel), Tzaphkiel, Tzadkiel, Khamael, Raphael, Haniel, Michael, Gabriel, and Sandalphon. Chapter 20 of the Book of Enoch mentions seven holy angels who watch, that often are considered the seven archangels: Michael, Raphael, Gabriel, Uriel, Saraqael, Raguel, and Remiel.The Life of Adam and Eve lists the archangels as well: Michael, Gabriel, Uriel, Raphael and Joel. Medieval Jewish philosopher Maimonides made a Jewish angelic hierarchy.
The New Testament makes several references to angels, but uses the word "archangel" only twice, at Thessalonians 4:16 ("For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first", KJV) and Jude 1:9 ("Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee", KJV).
In Roman Catholicism, three are honored by name:
These three are commemorated together liturgically on Sept. 29. Formerly each had his own feast (see individual articles).
The latter of these identifies himself in Tobit 12:15(NAB) thus: "I am Raphael, one of the seven angels who stand and serve before the Glory of the Lord."
The Fourth Book of Esdras, which mentions the angel Uriel (and also the "archangel" Jeremiel), was popular in the West and was frequently quoted by Church Fathers, especially Ambrose, but was never considered part of the Catholic biblical canon.
The Catholic Church gives no official recognition to the names given in some apocryphal sources, such as Raguel, Saraqael and Remiel (in the Book of Enoch) or Izidkiel, Hanael, and Kepharel (in other such sources).
Eastern Orthodox Tradition mentions "thousands of archangels";however, only seven archangels are venerated by name. Uriel is included, and the other three are most often named Selaphiel, Jegudiel, and Barachiel (an eighth, Jeremiel, is sometimes included as archangel). The Orthodox Church celebrates the Synaxis of the Archangel Michael and the Other Bodiless Powers on November 8 of the Eastern Orthodox liturgical calendar (for those churches which follow the Julian Calendar, November 8 falls on November 21 of the modern Gregorian Calendar). Other feast days of the Archangels include the Synaxis of the Archangel Gabriel on March 26 (April 8), and the Miracle of the Archangel Michael at Colossae on September 6 (September 19). In addition, every Monday throughout the year is dedicated to the Angels, with special mention being made in the church hymns of Michael and Gabriel. In Orthodox iconography, each angel has a symbolic representation:
In the canon of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, 1 Enoch describes Saraqael as one of the angels who watch over "the spirits that sin in the spirit" (20:7–8).
In addition to Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, the Coptic Orthodox Church recognises four more archangels by name:
The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church venerates the four archangels Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, and Uriel, as well as:
The Protestant Bible provides names for three angels: "Michael the archangel", the angel Gabriel, who is called "the man Gabriel" in Daniel 9:21 and third "Abaddon"/"Apollyon" in Revelation 9:11. Within Protestantism, the Anglican and Methodist tradition recognizes four angels as archangels: Michael the Archangel, Raphael the Archangel, Gabriel the Archangel, and Uriel the Archangel. September, “Michaelmas”, in the church calendar. The evangelist Billy Graham wrote that in Sacred Scripture, there is only one individual explicitly described as an archangel—Michael—in Jude 1:9.But a depiction of seven archangels in stained-glass windows can be found in some Anglican churches. In this case, in addition to the aforementioned angels, Chamuel, Jophiel and Zadkiel are also depicted. They are commemorated on 29
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Seventh-day Adventists hold that the titles "Michael" and "archangel" are in reference to Jesus. However, they only signify his role as the chief of angels and make no reference to the nature of Jesus, who is fully divine. Adventists credit nonconformist minister Matthew Henry as supporting this view.
Jehovah's Witnesses, citing a reference to "an archangel's voice" at 1 Thessalonians 4:16, also believe that "Michael" is another name for Jesus in heaven. They believe Jesus is an archangel in the true sense of the word—the highest spiritual creature.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) interprets the term "archangel" as meaning "Chief Angel",Michael is the only individual so designated in the Latter Day Saints canon. It is believed that he is the head of all of the angels. LDS Church doctrine also states that the archangel Michael was the first man, Adam. Though no other being is identified as an "archangel", Joseph Smith taught that the angel Gabriel was known in mortality as Noah and the angel Raphael is a being of significant standing, even though he has never been identified with any mortal prophet.
In Islam, the mentioned archangelsin the Quran include:
Occultists sometimes associate archangels in Kabbalistic fashion with various seasons or elements, or even colors. In some Kabbalah-based systems of ceremonial magic, all four of the main archangels (Gabriel, Michael, Raphael and Uriel) are invoked as guarding the four quarters, or directions, and their corresponding colors are associated with magical properties. [ citation needed ] is considered an archangel by Satanists and many non-Satanists, but non-Satanists consider him evil and fallen from God's grace.Lucifer or Sataniel in Christian traditions, or Iblis in Islam,
In art, archangels are sometimes depicted with larger wings. Some of the more commonly represented archangels are Gabriel, Michael, Raphael, and Uriel.
In the lesser ritual of the pentagram, the invocation includes the words "Before me Raphael; Behind me Gabriel; On my right hand Michael; On my left hand Auriel [Uriel]..."
In Christianity, angels are agents of God, based on angels in Judaism. The most influential Christian angelic hierarchy was that put forward by Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite in the 4th or 5th century in his book De Coelesti Hierarchia.
The Hebrew name Jerahmeel, which appears several times in the Tanakh, also appears in various forms as the name of an archangel in books of the intertestamental and early Christian periods.
Phanuel is the name given to the fourth angel who stands before God in the Book of Enoch, after the angels Michael, Raphael, and Gabriel. He is also considered to be the ruler of the Ophanim.
Râmîêl, or Remiel, is both a fallen Watcher and an archangel in the apocryphal Book of Enoch. Ramiel means "thunder of God" from the Hebrew elements ra'am and El, "God".
Camael, also spelled Khamael, Camiel, Cameel and Camniel, is the Archangel of strength, courage and war in Christian and Jewish mythology and angelology.
Ameretat /əˈmərətət/ is the Avestan language name of the Zoroastrian divinity/divine concept of immortality. Ameretat is the Amesha Spenta of long life on earth and perpetuality in the hereafter.
In some Judeo-Christian traditions, the Angel of the Presence / Face or Angel of his presence / face refers to an entity variously considered angelic or else identified with God himself.
Gabuthelon is an angel mentioned in the Greek Apocalypse of Ezra whose name was revealed to Esdras as one of the nine angels who will govern "at the end of the world." The nine angels mentioned are: Michael, Gabriel, Uriel, Raphael, Gabuthelon, Aker, Arphugitonos, Beburos, and Zebuleon. Gabuthelon is not considered an archangel and is a non-canonical figure.
Aker is an angel mentioned in the Greek Apocalypse of Ezra whose name was revealed to Esdras as one of the nine angels who will govern "at the end of the world." The nine angels mentioned are: Michael, Gabriel, Uriel, Raphael, Gabuthelon, Aker, Arphugitonos, Beburos, and Zebuleon. Aker is not considered an archangel and is a non-canonical figure. Theologians surmise that Aker may be comparable to Kyr.
Arphugitonos is an angel mentioned in the Greek Apocalypse of Ezra whose name was revealed to Esdras as one of the nine angels who will govern "at the end of the world." The nine angels mentioned are: Michael, Gabriel, Uriel, Raphael, Gabuthelon, Aker, Arphugitonos, Beburos, and Zebuleon. Arphugitonos is not considered an archangel and is a non-canonical figure.
Beburos is an angel mentioned in the Greek Apocalypse of Ezra whose name was revealed to Esdras as one of the nine angels who will govern "at the end of the world." The nine angels mentioned are Michael, Gabriel, Uriel, Raphael, Gabuthelon, Aker, Arphugitonos, Beburos, and Zebuleon. Beburos is not considered an archangel and is a non-canonical figure.
Zebuleon is an angel mentioned in the Greek Apocalypse of Ezra whose name was revealed to Esdras as one of the nine angels who will govern "at the end of the world." The nine angels mentioned are: Michael, Gabriel, Uriel, Raphael, Gabuthelon, Aker, Arphugitonos, Beburos, and Zebuleon. Zebuleon is not considered an archangel and is a non-canonical figure.
Saint Michael the Archangel is referenced in the Old Testament and has been part of Christian teachings since the earliest times. In Catholic writings and traditions he acts as the defender of the Church, and chief opponent of Satan; and assists souls at the hour of death.
Raguel is an angel mainly of the Judaic traditions. He is considered the Angel of Justice. His name means "Friend of God".
The notable seven Archangels are: St. Mikael, St. Gebriel, St. Rufael, St. Uriel, St. Ramuel, St. Phanuel, St. Raguel.
Devoutly are kept the feasts of all Angels including St. Michael, St. Gabriel and St. Raphael. […] Uriel, Regel, Remiel and Phanuel are other revered angels.
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