|ANGELS OF THE SEVEN CHURCHES |
It is evident from the contexts of the various Biblical passages in which the word "angel" appears, that the word does not always represent the same idea. In such passages as Daniel 12:1 and Acts 12:15 it would seem that the angel was generally regarded as a superhuman being whose duty it was to guard a nation or an individual, not unlike the jenei of the Arabs. However, in Malachi 2:7; 3:1 (Hebrew) the word is clearly used to represent men. In the New Testament also, there are passages, such as James 2:25 (Greek), in which the word seems to be applied to men. The seven angels of the seven churches (Revelation 1:20) received seven letters, figurative letters, and therefore it would seem that the seven angels are also figurative and may refer to the seven bishops who presided over the seven churches of Asia. Or the angels may be regarded as the personifications of the churches.
E. J. Banks