Monday, August 22, 2011

CHRIST AS AN ANGEL BEFORE NICEA

ALAN F. SEGAL: "...I must be content only to mention the Angel in the Shepherd of Hermas, which should been seen as intimately related to principal angel traditions in apocalyptic literature. Hermas talks in many places of a highest angel worthy of reverence, whom most commentators have identified as the Son of God.[3] The Angel is given the name Michael,[4] yet the conclusion that he is the equivalent to the Son of God or the Christ, is difficult to escape.[5] Both are invested with supreme power over the people of God; both pronounce judgement on the faithful; both hand sinners over to the angel of repentance to record them.[6]..." - (Page 220, "Two powers in heaven: early rabbinic reports about Christianity and Gnosticism." By Alan F. Segal 2002.)
[FOOTNOTE 3]: See Barbel, p. 47, n. 4.
[FOOTNOTE 4]: Sim. 8, 3, 3.
[FOOTNOTE 5]: Sim. 8, 3, 3 and 5, 6, 4.
[FOOTNOTE 6]: Sim. 5, 2-7; 9, 6, 3-6; 9, 10, 4; 8, 2, 5; 8, 4, 3; 9, 7, 1. For a more detailed exposition of the relationship between the angel in Hermas and the angel of YHWH see H. Moxnes, "God and His Angel in the Shepherd of Hermas," Studia Theologica, 28 (1974), 49-56. He shows that language normally used of God, e.g., as the sender of angels, has been transferred to the principal angel.

LARRY W. HURTADO: "...the text essentiallly presupposes and affirms basic ideas about Jesus as the key agent of divine redemption that are attested in numerous other texts of proto-orthodox circles of the time. As sent forth from God, Jesus can be reffered to as God's particular angelos (messenger), which surely forms a part of the conceptual categories used in Hermas. But Jesus is distinguished as the "one Angel of ultimate importance," and is not simply one among others.[116]..." - (Page 604, Lord Jesus Christ: Devotion to Jesus in Earliest Christianity By Larry W. Hurtado 2005.)
[FOOTNOTE 116]: Halvor Moxnes, "God and His Angel in the Shepherd of Hermas," ST, 28 (1974): 55 (49-56). E.g., in Vis, 5.1 the shepherd is sent to Hermas by "the revered angel [ tou semnotatou angelou ]"; in Sim. 9.3 the same figure is referred to as "the glorious angel [ tou endoxou angelou ]"; and in Sim. 10.1, probably the same angel figure addresses Hermas.

J. N. D. KELLY: “...In a number of passages we read of an angel who is superior to the six angels forming God’s inner council, and who is regularly described as ‘most venerable’, ‘holy’, and ‘glorious’. This angel is given the name of Michael, and the conclusion is difficult to escape that Hermas saw in him the Son of God and equated him with the archangel Michael...” - (Early Christian Doctrines, by J. N. D. Kelly, Second Edition, 1960, pages 94-5.)

EDMUND J. FORTMAN: "...If we read Hermas to find out who or what was the Son of God, the situation is equally baffling. In one section he says that the Son of God `is the law of God, given to the whole world,' and that `the great and glorious angel Michael ... inspires the law in the hearts of believers' (Sim.8.3)..." - (Pages 40,41; Subheading: Hermas. From a now out of print book on "THE TRINITY".)