Angels

(Corey Alan Patterson) #1

Since we have heard that there are male angels in the Bible and have not heard of any female names for angels or archangels in the Bible getting written about, can we assume that there are only male angels?

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(Kathleen) #2

Hmmm, very interesting thought! I wonder if angels actually have a gender? We see in the Bible that when angels make certain appearances, esp. in Genesis, they are in the likeness of a male human. But we also sometimes just hear that ‘an angel of the Lord’ appeared, and no gender is assigned. I’m esp. thinking of the foretelling of the birth of Christ. I wonder why we automatically assume that these angels were male? I wonder if there something in the Hebrew or Greek I’m missing?

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(SeanO) #3

@Corey I agree with @KMac that it is not clear from Scripture that angels have gender. In fact, based on the following statement from Jesus it would seem they do not reproduce.

Matthew 22:30 - At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven.

One reason - though this is speculative - they may appear as male is because men are generally associated with authority and strength. And angels are ambassadors of God coming in strength and glory.

This article makes the argument that gender is not necessarily only related to sex, so we cannot assume angels do not have gender in any sense of that word. We should therefore follow the Biblical pattern of assigning male gender.

The confusion about genderless angels comes from a misreading of Matthew 22:30, which states that there will be no marriage in heaven because we “will be like the angels in heaven.” The fact that there will be no marriage has led some to believe that angels are “sexless” or genderless because (the thinking goes) the purpose of gender is procreation and, if there is to be no marriage and no procreation, there is no need for gender. But this is a leap that cannot be proven from the text. The fact that there is no marriage does not necessarily mean there is no gender. The many references to angels as males contradict the idea of genderless angels. Angels do not marry, but we can’t make the leap from “no marriage” to “no gender.”

I don’t think we can know the absolute answer on this one. It’s a bit speculative.

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