Main Our Angels Are Different Discussion

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03:46:56 PM Aug 26th 2013
Pulled because this trope page is not a debating forum for how one show's angels are more theologically accurate than another's:

  • Highway To Heaven is a prime example of research failure. The series promulgates the popular misconception that angels are what good people become after death. One of the virtues of Touched by an Angel is that the producers and writers know angels are an entirely different species of beings, who have never been human and only take human form to interact with people on Earth. The writers of that show also demonstrate familiarity with the Bible, as illustrated by many allusions slipped into the dialogue.

10:52:31 PM Feb 26th 2013
edited by Kernik
Ok, I just rewatched Constinine, not only dose the entry here disagree with that movie's page here, I just can't see where the Trooper writing here is getting their info: deceased? human? Christian? I'm not getting this from the movie. I'm not sure what denomination you would call the characters in this Film, seeing as they all have first-hand experience they can't realy be said to be adhering to dogma. We certainly see that Gabrielle hangs out with at least one prominent Christian, but this is almost an informed attribute, rather than a statement of agreement. I'm mainly confused why someone would think that the "peddlers of influence," the "half-breeds" are former humans. The nice suit/boardroom demon claims to have been "born of fire;" Gabrielle, by contrast, talks about "you" (humans) and the potential for post life reward we apparently have as if it has never been one of us, not sure how you get that it was a good Christian (human) woman from that. Also John feels the need to explain,"that's pain, get used to it," like Gabe is totally unfamiliar with being flesh. I know this movie had a few contradictory cuts and it would not surprise me if there is some All There in the Manuel or Unreliable Narrator aspect I'm missing.

On an unrelated note, we seem to be doing a lot of unsourced flat statements about what various very broad anthropological groupings believe, like we were on the Other Wiki-people in these groups disagree about who is in which group, the exact taxology of the subject and a Host (pun) of other things. This seems kind of silly as differences in theology are what causes a lot of Broken Base splintering of religious groups....and it ignores the point of this Trope, mainly, that different sources classify, describe and divide Angels differently. We should talk about what one particular work says and how it differs from others, not make statements of authority.

Also, has anyone a copy of the short story "The Magistry of Angels?" The psychopomps-airline stewardesses are referred to as angels and I think should included here as a good example of each author trying to be distinctive. For that matter, Peter Lord-Wolf's "Silence in Heaven" and definitely Sulliman Rushtie's "The Satanic Verses," definitely provide clear examples that my n00b ass would be compelled to include if I recalled them any better.
03:42:22 AM Aug 1st 2011
There's something of a falsehood concerning the discussion of the Islamic version of Satan, Iblis, which Gregory Widden's 'The Prophecy' is said to borrow from. The key discussion is whether or not he's a Djinn or an angel in Islam. I can categorically say that Iblis is not mentioned to be an angel in the Qur'an, but I can understand where the problem lies.

Take for example this quote, Surat Al-Baqarah, or The Cow ( Bism'Illah Er-Rahman Er-Raheem);

2:34 And when We said unto the angels: Prostrate yourselves before Adam, they fell prostrate, all save Iblis. He demurred through pride, and so became a disbeliever.

It's logical to conclude from the english translation of this verse that Iblis was among one of the angels. Yes and no, sure he was physically amongst the angels BUT he still wasn't an angel himself. This is an example of Tagleeb, a device in Arabic grammar where you refer to the entire group by the majority of it's members. For example, I could be calling out to one large group made up of both boys and girls, but only use the word 'Awlad' ( Boys in Arabic). I remember that particular example being used in school and at home a lot.

In addition to this, a good chunk of the mentions of Iblis not prostrating before Adam have some reference to his Djinn nature.

The most blatant one is 18:50, Surat Al-Kahf ( The Cave);

And [mention] when We said to the angels, "Prostrate to Adam," and they prostrated, except for Iblees. He was of the jinn and departed from the command of his Lord. Then will you take him and his descendants as allies other than Me while they are enemies to you? Wretched it is for the wrongdoers as an exchange.

Then of course there's Surat Al-A"raf ( The Heights);

7.11 And We have certainly created you, [O Mankind], and given you [human] form. Then We said to the angels, "Prostrate to Adam"; so they prostrated, except for Iblees. He was not of those who prostrated

7.12 [Allah] said, "What prevented you from prostrating when I commanded you?" [Satan] said, "I am better than him. You created me from fire and created him from clay."

Then there's Surat Al-Hijr (

15.26 And We did certainly create man out of clay from an altered black mud.

15.27 And the jinn We created before from scorching fire.

15.28 And [mention, O Muhammad], when your Lord said to the angels, "I will create a human being out of clay from an altered black mud.

15.29 And when I have proportioned him and breathed into him of My [created] soul, then fall down to him in prostration."

15.30 So the angels prostrated all of them entirely,

15.31 Except Iblees, he refused to be with those who prostrated.

15.32 [Allah] said, O Iblees, what is [the matter] with you that you are not with those who prostrate?"

15.33 He said, "Never would I prostrate to a human whom You created out of clay from an altered black mud."

And nowhere, I repeat, absolutely NOWHERE is Iblis referred to as the mightiest of angels in the Qur'an.

Is this whole discussion overkill? Prolly, considering the initial statement of Iblis being the ' mightiest of Angels' was just a single line. Still, had to be said.
08:27:42 PM Mar 3rd 2011
I just pulled this section from the article because it wasn't related to the trope. It looks like some good work went into it, though—any suggestions on where it might fit better?

Angels in The Bible can belong to several classes.
  • Archangel — The highest class. Michael is one of two angels named and the only angel to hold this rank in the Protestant and Jewish Bible canons.
  • Elders — (AKA Thrones) There are 24 of this class as mentioned in Revelation.
  • Living Creatures — These angels are a specific set of four Cherubim mentioned in both Ezekiel and Revelation. Their descriptions vary slightly from both accounts, but they seem to have faces varying from that of a lion, ox, man, and eagle, eyes all over their bodies, and more than one pair of wings. (In other words, they are the angels most likely to fit the page image.)
    • In Ezekiel, each is paired with one of the four Ophanim, meaning "wheels", which are eye-covered, wheel-like interlocking chariot wheels. (Note: In this listing the Thrones and Ophanim are NOT identified as the same.)
  • Cherubim — (singular Cherub) The Bible is silent on what normal angels of this class looked like, but according to Jewish tradition they were human looking, as both the Ark of the Covenant and Solomon's Temple included images of angels of this class in their design.
  • Seraphim — (singular Seraph) Mentioned to have six wings, four of which are used to cover themselves. Their name means "burning ones".
  • Angels — These are the ordinary inhabitants of Heaven; if something needs doing on earth, these are the guys who generally do it.

There is also a traditional celestial hierarchy of angels, which comes from an early Christian writing by one "Dionysius", into the following nine "Choirs" ordered from greatest to least, of which only the first and last two are commonly seen in art and literature:
  • Seraphim — (singular Seraph) Traditionally six-winged, red, and fiery; represent God's love. The reason they have six wings is to cover their true form, which is so bright and glorious that merely witnessing it grants a one-way trip to Heaven... at the cost of bodily incineration. According to some texts they're also serpentine. Their chief is St. Michael. Satan used to be one of these (hence his six wings in Dante's Divine Comedy). If they're not covered and won't set you on fire, they're described as handsome... but tall, terrifying, fiery, and speaking in Earth-shaking (quite literally) voices.
  • Cherubim — (singular Cherub) Tend to be depicted in blue, or as blue (or red, or lots of different colors); represent God's knowledge and act as soldiers and guardian angels. St. Gabriel is Head Cherub. In The Middle Ages, often misunderstood to be a single angel named "Cherubin". In The Renaissance, the Putti, chubby little children or even a chubby face between two or more wings, were later confused with Cherubim (or even Seraphim, as in this painting by Ghirlandaio).
  • Thrones or Ophanim — Hold up God's throne. They serve as the headquarters of the Virtues and the Upper Choirs and control the natural laws as well as being the bringers of God's justice who represent His authority (and badassery).
  • Dominions — Not mentioned in Protestant and Jewish Bible canons. Wear crowns; represent God's power. Each serves as the patron angel of a nation and ruler of all angels assigned to that nation.
  • Virtues — Not mentioned in Protestant and Jewish Bible canons. Traditionally wear armor and swords and are considered to control the heavenly bodies. They live in the Thrones. The previous three choirs form the bulk of the heavenly army.
  • Powers — Not mentioned in Protestant and Jewish Bible canons. Carry flaming swords and chains to bind The Devil; serve as guardians. In Christian tradition the Angel with the Flaming Sword in Eden was one of these, the Archangel Jophiel. Are considered Angels Of Justice and are considered perfect, incorruptible ultimate angels created by God himself. (Sound familiar?) Naturally some beliefs list Satan as a former Power.
  • Principalities — Not mentioned in Protestant and Jewish Bible canons. Traditionally bear armor and swords, and watch over rulers and nations. As well as acting as the head of a specific group of angels.
  • Archangels — According to apocryphal works there are seven, including Michael, Gabriel (mentioned in The Bible canon but only as a normal angel), and Raphael (appears in the deuterocanonical book of Tobit)(names for the others, such as Zadkiel, Uriel, and Ithuriel, don't seem to have caught on). Each archangel is the head of one of the remaining upper choirs.
    • In the Eastern Orthodox Church, there are seven major archangels; however, other than the Archangels Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael the names of the others vary radically. Also the arrangement of the choirs and the status of archangels vary. In Christianity, archangels often embody a particular function or idea: for instance, Raphael is the archangel of Healing, Raguel the archangel of justice and Jegudiel of politics.
  • Angels

08:33:02 PM Mar 3rd 2011
Chuck it in Trivia?
08:40:32 PM Mar 3rd 2011
edited by shimaspawn
12:35:38 PM Apr 13th 2012
05:54:10 AM Dec 14th 2010
Fixed the link under the The Shape of the Nightmare To Come example. The old link is dead.
05:20:10 AM Jun 9th 2010
"Each archangel is the head of one of the remaining upper choirs."

This is the first time I hear this. Is there a source on that?
08:59:20 AM Nov 11th 2012
Well in modern times most people who even care to discuss such things say there can only be one arch angel at any given time. A few traditions, most notably the Catholics, do still hold the "multiple archangel view", so ask somebody at mass.
01:51:29 PM Apr 20th 2010
The current page image is rather nifty. Can anyone point me to the source?
05:01:11 PM Nov 18th 2010
I'd like to know too, its awesome

10:59:08 PM Feb 26th 2013
It refers to the source under tabletop games I think, it is an illustration of a formless moon spirt's imago created to talk to a fundamentalist church in the role-playing game Were Wolf:the Forsaken, source book Antagonists....or maybe I'm mistaken. I glanced at the attribution of that image too, it's striking.
09:25:56 PM Apr 11th 2010
Lucifer was a seraph? [citation needed]. That Other Wiki says he was an archangel. So which interpretation is the correct one?
01:51:02 PM Apr 20th 2010
There appear to be two different rank systems (for want of a better term). In one an archangel is a fairly low rank (middle of the third sphere), whilst in the other it's the highest.
09:17:11 AM Dec 17th 2010
I think it's actually both in the sense that there is the rank archangel, and then there are the Four (formerly five) Archangels. No idea why.
04:21:22 PM Mar 5th 2014
There is not enough information in the Judeo-Christian canon for some theologians, who go off hypothesizing and theorizing their own ideas. Since these never really become canon there are a lot of inconsistencies between them. The fact that there are differing opinions on which parts of the Tanakh(Old Testament) should and should not be counted also kind of screws with any attempts for a uniform theology/
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