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International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

 

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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 Dan 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 Mal 2:7 and 3:1 (Hebrew) the word is clearly used to represent men. In the New Testament also, there are passages, such as Jas 2:25 (Greek), in which the word seems to be applied to men. The seven angels of the seven churches (Rev 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

Bibliography Information
Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. "Definition for 'ANGELS OF THE SEVEN CHURCHES'". "International Standard Bible Encyclopedia". bible-history.com - ISBE; 1915.

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