Monday, February 3, 2014

Jehovah's Witnesses - Not the Only Ones Who Reason That Jesus is Michael the Archangel

Jesus Was God's Foremost Messenger (Angel)

Before citing the Scriptural evidence by scholars that the archangel was Christ himself, it would be helpful to first address what the literal definition of "angel" is in the Bible and also who Jehovah's Witnesses believe Jesus to be.

Trinitarians have problems with the term "angel" because to them it is clearly a subordinate term thereby reducing Jesus to a status lower than God Himself. Hence, the accusation arises that Jehovah's Witnesses believe that Jesus is "just an angel".

But what many people either do not understand (or are unwilling to understand) is that Jehovah's Witnesses do not view Jesus as "just an angel". Jehovah's Witnesses acknowledge that the Bible describes Jesus, not as God, but as God's Son - the only being directly created by God Himself and is the second most important person in existence. (Prov. 8:22-30; Micah 5:2; John 1:18; Col. 1:15; Rev. 3:14) (See: Who Is Jesus Christ?; JW.ORG)

Additionally, a large problem for many is that they do not have the proper understanding of what the literal definition of "angel" in the Bible is. Both the Hebrew mal·´akh´ and the Greek ag´ge·los literally mean “messenger.” When spirit messengers are indicated, the words are translated “angels,” but if the reference definitely is to humans, the rendering is “messengers.” (Gen. 16:7; 32:3; Jas. 2:25; Rev. 22:8) Whether human or angelic messengers are meant can be determined by the context.

Considering this, when Jesus was on earth, he was God's foremost messenger. He was called the "Word" because he was God's Spokesman:

“I have not spoken out of my own impulse, but the Father himself who sent me has given me a commandment as to what to tell and what to speak. . . . Therefore the things I speak, just as the Father has told me them, so I speak them.” (John 12:49, 50; 14:10; 7:16, 17)

Jehovah Witnesses Weren't the First (nor only) Ones to Reason That Jesus is Michael the Archangel

Jehovah's Witnesses are not (and have not been) the only ones to understand that the name 'Michael' applied to God's Son before he left heaven to become Jesus Christ and also after his return. From early Christian writings until now there have been many who have believed this.

Some Christian theologians, like John Calvin, (Calvin’s Commentaries on The Prophet Daniel, Vol. II, Baker reprint, vol. XIII, pp. 369, 370), John Gill (A Complete Body of Practical and Doctrinal Divinity, The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1987 reprint, p. 617), and Johathan Edwards (The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Vol. 2, Banner of Truth, 1979 reprint, p. 606.), postulate that the archangel was Christ himself based on Scriptural evidence.

Also note what early Christian scholar Origen wrote:

"There are certain creatures, rational and divine, which are called powers [spirit creatures, probably ANGELS]; AND OF THESE CHRIST WAS THE HIGHEST and best and is called not only the wisdom of God but also His power." - ANF 10:321-322.

"The EARLIER PROTESTANT SCHOLARS usually identified Michael with the preincarnate Christ, finding support for their view, not only in the juxtaposition of the "child" and the archangel in Rev 12, but also in the attributes ascribed to him in Dnl." - The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, John A. Lees (1930, Vol. III), p. 2048.

"ARCHANGEL. This word is only twice used in the Bible, 1 Thess. 4:16; Jude 9. In the last passage it is applied to Michael, who, in Dan. 10:13,21; 12:1, is described as having a special charge of the Jewish Nation, and in Rev. 12:7-9 as the leader of an angelic army. So EXALTED are the POSITION and offices ASCRIBED TO MICHAEL, THAT MANY THINK THE MESSIAH IS MEANT." - Inter-National Bible Dictionary, published by Logos International, Plainfield, New Jersey, p. 35.

Even MODERN TRINITARIANS sometimes admit that Jesus in his pre-human existence appeared as an angel.

Highly respected trinitarian Bible scholar, Dr. E. F. Scott, Emeritus Professor at the Union Theological Seminary, wrote:

"The author of Hebrews ... thinks of [Jesus] as an angel, whom God had exalted above all others, investing him with his own majesty and calling him by the name of Son." - p. 726, An Encyclopedia of Religion, 1945 ed.

And, again, the very trinitarian The Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible tells us that at this time the Jewish expectation was that the Christ was

"a pre-existent, heavenly angelic being who, at the end of time, will appear at the side of God as judge of the world [see Acts 7:55-56]." - p. 364, Vol. 3, Abingdon Press, 1962.

"Angel of the Lord [angel of Jehovah] - occurs many times in the Old Testament, where in almost every instance it means a supernatural personage to be distinguished from Jehovah .... Some feel the pre-incarnate Christ is meant." - p. 39, Today's Dictionary of the Bible (trinitarian), Bethany House Publ., 1982.

"Angel of the Lord. ... Christ's visible form before the incarnation." - p. 40, Smith's Bible Dictionary (trinitarian), Hendrickson Publ.

"ANGEL OF THE LORD, ... is represented in Scripture as a heavenly being sent by God to deal with men as his personal agent and spokesman [`word'] .... In the NT [which trinitarians agree explains and amplifies the OT] there is no possibility of the angel of the Lord being confused with God. .... mostly when appearing to men he is recognized as a divine being, even though in human form, and is [sometimes] addressed as God" - p. 38, New Bible Dictionary, Tyndale House (trinitarian), 1984 printing.

"The Angel of the LORD.... Traditional [from 2nd century A. D. (at least)] Christian interpretation has held that this `angel' was a preincarnate manifestation of Christ as God's Messenger-Servant. It may be ..., the angel could speak on behalf of (and so be identified with) the One [Jehovah] who sent him." - footnote for Gen. 16:7 in the highly trinitarian The NIV Study Bible by Zondervan Publishing, 1985.

Scripture Shows That There is Only One Archangel

Jehovah's Witnesses (like the scholars mentioned above) look to the Scriptural evidence which indicates that the name 'Michael' applied to God's Son before he left heaven to become Jesus Christ and also after his return.

Additionally, the prefix "arch," means "chief" or "principal," and this implies that there is only ONE archangel, the chief angel; in the Scriptures.

Further implying that there is only one archangel in the Scriptures is that the word "archangel" is never found in the plural.

Because this evidence demonstrates that there is only ONE Archangel (compare Jude 9, "Michael THE Archangel"), when the voice of the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ is also described as being that of the "Archangel" at 1 Thessalonians 4:16, this suggests that he is, in fact, himself the Archangel.

The Bible clearly shows that Jesus is not God in hundreds of different ways. So the the over-the-top persecution of Jehovah's Witnesses by trinitarians over whether or not Jesus is Michael the Archangel is really an overreaction and demonstrates a clear ignorance of Scripture and History.

For more, see:

Archangel - Links to Information (Defend Jehovah's Witnesses)

The Bible’s Viewpoint - Who Is Michael the Archangel? (g02 2/8 pp. 16-17; Watchtower Online Library )

Who Is Michael the Archangel? (bh p. 218 - p. 219 par. 1; Watchtower Online Library )

Is Jesus the Archangel Michael? (w10 4/1 p. 19; Watchtower Online Library)

MICHAEL (Insight-2 pp. 393-394; Watchtower Online Library)

Is Jesus Christ the same person as Michael the archangel? (Insight-2 pp. 393-394; Watchtower Online Library)

Is Jesus Christ Michael the Archangel? (Pastor Russell)

Who is the Archangel Michael? (Bible Translation and Study)

Biblical and Historical Views of Christ as an Angel (Jehovah's Witnesses United)

Angels as Jehovah's Representatives - Is Jesus Christ Michael the Archangel?
(Jehovah's Witnesses United)

High Angel Christology: Is Jesus Christ Michael the Archangel? (Jehovah's Witnesses Redefended)


Defend Jehovah's Witnesses