Transvestite Angels?

Guardian_Angel_1900When I think of angels, the first thing that pops into my head is a singing woman with wings and a halo like you might find perched on the top of a Christmas tree. Apparently, something peculiar happened to angels on the way to the 21st century.

After doing a little research, I found the Bible had no mention of angels that:

  • had wings (seraphim and cherubim aren’t called angels in the Bible);
  • had halos;
  • were singing (they do a lot of speaking in the Bible, though);
  • were female (they were all male, at least in appearance).

What happened? It seems like a lot of artists along the way prefered painting the fairer sex. The halo and wings were just identifying embellishments. Maybe artists supposed that angels needed wings like a bird to travel back and forth from Heaven. Halos were probably borrowed from other religions such as buddhism. As for singing, perhaps it was a misunderstanding of the use of the term “choir” as in, “choirs of angels”.

Angels, as a whole, must have been very frightening to behold. It seems the most common phrase out of their mouths was, “Do not be afraid.” A pretty female rarely has cause to use those words when meeting someone.

Other interesting facts about angels:

  • Angels weren’t once people. Nowhere does the Bible say that people become angels when they die. Jesus made a comment about people becoming like angels after the resurrection [Matthew 22:30, Mark 12:25] but he never said they became angels per se.
  • Cherubim (cherubs) aren’t cute little baby angels in the Bible. They are frighteningly powerful chimeras. Again, there’s artistic license hard at work. Like seraphim though, cherubim are never actually identified as angels in the Bible.
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