Angels we have heard on high…

In the Catholic Church, three angels are mentioned by name in scriptures: Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael.In Anglican and Episcopal tradition, there are four in the calendar: Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, and Uriel. Coptic Orthodox tradition venerates seven: Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, Suriel, Sarathiel, Zadkiel, and Aniel. For Eastern Orthodox Churches there are eight: Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, Uriel, Selaphiel, Jegudiel, Barachiel, and Jeremiel. The Book of Enoch mentions seven: Uriel, Raguel, Sariel, Jeramiel, Izekiel, Hanael, and Kepharel.

Though angels are frequently depicted as female, these guys are all male. Notice that all of them have names ending in “el”, for what that’s worth.

Where do we get the hubris to believe that our scriptures are any more valid than those of the Sumerians, the Hindus or others? Scholars and theologians alike now recognize that the biblical tales of Creation, of Adam and Eve, the Garden of Eden, the Deluge, the Tower of Babel, were based on texts written down millennia earlier in Mesopotamia. The Sumerians claimed that they obtained their knowledge of past events from the writings of the Anunnaki (“Those Who from Heaven to Earth Came”) – the “gods” of antiquity.

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  • angels

    The angels mentioned above are archangels, there are hundreds of lesser angels in most religious traditions. These “angels” came from “heaven” (i.e the sky) and served their “lord” who dwelt on high.
    The suffix -el means “god” both a specific “great god” and as a generic name for god. El was originally a Canaanite deity and became incorporated (along with other gods) into the YHWH monotheistic movement as “El Shaddai,” God the Almighty. The stories don’t make any sense when reduced to a monotheistic framework.
    In regard to gender, originally these being were considered androgynous asexual beings. Not to be confused with the “sons of gods” that mat4ed with human women.

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