Assignment Comments – Angelology
Many Christians (even pastors and teachers) have not heard of the divine council.They tend to be unaware that the Hebrew text of the OT (the language in which the OT was originally written) actually has PLURAL elohim ("gods"; see also the word elim – another plural [of El – "god"]) in contexts where they must tbe real – such as Psalm 82.As my article points out, there is a very plain way to reconcile this with Israel's monotheism (make sure you read it).God created all the other members of the heavenly host (including the elohim of his council), and so is superior to them – He alone is pre-existent, uncreated, sovereign, etc.
My paper also points out another common misconception in Christian circles about heavenly beings:that they are all "angels" – angels (Hebrew mal'akim) are just a CLASS of heavenly being – along with cherubim, seraphim, the elohim/elim, and the sons of the elohim/elim.This isn't a weird invention, it's what the Hebrew text produces when studied inductively and deductively; it's also consistent with the rest of the ancient near east (except for those civilizations that had more than one god as creator, ruler, etc – true polytheism).
We must also be careful when interpreting the Old Testament NOT to read the New Testament back into the Old.This is the biggest problem I have with saying the plurals in Gen. 1:26 refer to the Trinity.An Israelite (even the most godly) would NEVER have interpreted his Bible this way.He simply didn't have the revelation from God to make that interpretation.So the question becomes, for accurately interpreting Genesis (or any OT passage), should we be trying to arrive at what the Israelite thought or what WE think.I think the former is the goal, but we can always apply the OT meaning to our day.There ARE, however, cases where the NT quotes the OT and GIVES us an interpretation (under inspiration).In these cases, scholars argue whether the NT changes the OT – but this is well beyond the scope of this class.
Regarding Ezekiel 28 – note that there is ONE cherub in the garden (an angelic / divine being); he is not the same as the PLURAL cherubim sent to guard Eden AFTERthe Fall.I didn't ask this in the question, but why do you suppose Eve wasn't surprised when the "serpent" spoke to her?Think about it.
It seems that the OT has a consciousness that God had a "co-ruler" or vice-regent in heaven.This person isn't an archangel either (contrary to your textbooks) since there is a person in Daniel 10 (cf. the descriptions with ch. 8) who is ABOVE Michael, the lead archangel (Michael "assisted" this one).