Posts Tagged ‘Archangel’


Jesus as Michael the Archangel

(A Grammar Outlook)

The Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that Jesus is Michael the archangel. They based their belief in the written verse of 1 Thessalonians 4:16 of the New World Translation which says, “because the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a commanding call, with an archangel’s voice and with God’s trumpet, and those who are dead in union with Christ will rise first.” Michael is known as the archangel in Judas 9 which states, “But when Michael the archangel had a difference with the Devil and was disputing about Moses’ body, he did not dare to bring a judgment against him in abusive terms, but said: “May Jehovah rebuke you.” Archangel means an angel who is first in rank. Arch which means first therefore, Michael is the first angel in position. But other Bible versions translated the second phrase as “with a voice of the archangel” implying that there is an archangel in the scene separated from Jesus. The words “with a/the commanding call” means as Jesus descends from heaven there is a command which he is voicing out or there is a command from an archangel that is associated in Jesus descending. However, the latter is not proper to use because the next phrase after “commanding call” has a preposition “with” and a word “voice” thus, it is a continuation of the phrase “commanding call” which means the commanding call is from Jesus which shows a quality and which identifies the kind of voice that Jesus has . The next phrase “with an archangel’s voice” will be a descriptive phrase for the first phrase. However, some would say that the phrase that contains “with”, “voice”, and “archangel” (there are no articles “a”, “an”, and “the” in the original Greek text of this verse) means there is an archangel’s voice who is present in the scenario as Jesus descends. The preposition “with” as I would like to point here denotes same time, possessions of things, showing attributes or showing feelings, ideas or conditions. Let us show some examples.

As an example of time: He went outside with his girlfriend and with his classmates. (The example shows people are with him or together with him as they went out or in other way the girl went out together with her boyfriend and with her boyfriend’s classmates. Also it denotes same time of the actions done by the people).

As an example of possession of things: A man with a car – denotes a man owns a car. However, “a man with the car” denotes a man is beside or near the specific car which he may or may not his own possession (not an example of possession of things if may not). This gives a hint to the verse above. If we would write the verse as “…will descend from heaven with the commanding call,…” it would give a thought that the commanding call may not from him just as the second example is stated. The usage of articles here now makes sense. And I believe the NWT translators have really maintained the exact meaning of every verse in the original texts of the Bible.

As an example of showing attributes or quality: 1) She is a lady with a beautiful voice. 2) Michael speaks with a voice of a king. The first one shows that a lady has a beautiful voice while the second one shows Michael has a voice like of a king. This is the NWT translation that speaks of Jesus that has a voice of an archangel and since archangel means chief angel (from arch which means first and an angel) therefore Jesus is an angel who is first in rank.

As an example of showing feelings, ideas or conditions: 1) She speaks with love and wisdom. 2) She lives with pain but with noble.

So now, which is the correct in the next phrase? Is it “with a voice of the archangel” (single identity) or “with the voice of an archangel” (which means from the class of archangel)” or “with an archangel’s voice”? If the verse really states in this way “because the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a commanding call, with a voice of the archangel, …” (highlighted for emphasis) meaning a definite archangel who is separate from Jesus is in the scenario and this would mean that there is a voice which is present as Jesus descends from heaven. The same thing applies to the phrase “with a voice of an archangel”. This would be invalid because it shows disrespect on part of Jesus. If this is the phrase we are going to use then, it would mean literally that as Jesus is descending and commanding another angel is shouting. He cannot repeat the commanding call of Jesus. Only Jesus is given the right to resurrect the people – 1 Corinthians 15:21 – 22; John 5:25, 28 – 29. Why I am saying that the angel cannot repeat the command of Jesus? Think of this. Is it a proper act of an angel to cause his voice as a call to resurrect the dead people if really the power to resurrect dead people is vested on Jesus by God. John 5:28 – 29 speaks that whoever hears the voice of Jesus will rise again. On the other hand, if the archangel would make a call before Jesus commands then the original Greek text must really show the meaning in that way. The one possible translation verse base in position that would show that there are three objects treated differently is this: “because the Lord himself will descend from heaven with God’s trumpet, with a commanding call and with a voice of the archangel,…” This really shows that there are three different objects. I believe the Greek writers know at least the rules in attaining the exact meaning of a verse if knowing the sensitivity of the meaning of different contexts that is when position or ordering applies but this is somehow a problem in Greek language because ordering sometimes does not applies in Greek text. The possible translation version which could mean that the archangel will voice out after Jesus gave his commanding call is first there would be a sound of call of the trumpets (possibly continuing), then a voice of the archangel and lastly, a commanding call of Jesus. However, the Greek text doesn’t show this. Take note: the reader when reading this could have a preconceive thought if Jesus is describe as to have an archangel’s voice or there was an archangel separated from him who is shouting. Now, it is not only Jehovah’s Witnesses who claimed that Jesus is an angel but even early on the time of early apostasy had come, the belief that Jesus is an angel was well known. Thus, when someone is reading or writing the said verse HE WOULD BE AWARE as to how it is meant exactly. For if you are going to write the possible position of the phrases just I have said, it would create different meaning within the context. We should also note that the verse speaks of descending of Jesus and all phrases following it used the preposition “with” which indicates time. In the position of the phrases of the said verse, all are in line with the descending of Jesus which requires same time. Though the second phrase denotes a quality as what JW believe, it still shows of present time i.e the voice of Jesus is described as to be an archangel’s voice. Thus, when you said even in past tense the statement, “The woman asked her request with a voice of a child” or “The woman asked her request with a child’s voice” then, it means the woman asked a request in a child’s voice or in a voice like of a child. Therefore, when Jesus is described as descending, he has a commanding call and that call is describe as an archangel’s voice which is part of the time of the descending of Jesus. Therefore, the translation of NWT is an exact translation of the original Greek verse of 1 Thessalonians 4:16. Changing the position of the three phrases especially the original Greek texts will make difference in meaning which I hope to see by the readers. However, since order in Greek language does not apply always, it sometimes difficult to know what should be the proper translation just as in Hebrew 1:8 as an example. However, just I have said when someone reads it he may come to think as how it is normally mean as he read it. The fact that the second phrase “with [an] archangel’s voice or with [a] voice [of an] archangel follows the first phrase describing as Jesus descends with a commanding call would not disregard the possibility that the second phrase is an adjective clause or descriptive phrase of the first phrase. This makes the understanding of the early people that Jesus is the archangel since archangel’s voice would only fit to the archangel as the meaning of archangel means an angel who is first in rank or simply the chief angel. However, some argue that since Michael in Daniel 10:13 is said as to be one of the chief princes they say that it cannot be Jesus if he is the archangel alone. They say Michael is one of the archangels since he is called as one of the chief princes. However, Michael was called the Great Prince in Daniel 12:1. The word “Great” would only fit to the highest person in position on a certain group. Jehovah is called as the Prince of princes as you will see later. Since Jesus is a Great prince then he is one of the foremost princes (Jehovah and Jesus).  Just as we have high officials in military in a country, we only have one highest military official in a country. We could have high officials as the General, Lieutenant General, Major General and Brigadier General yet only the Great official is entitled to the highest position in the army which is the General who is acting the commanding-in-chief of the Armed Forces. Let us analyze the claim of some that there is an archangel present and separated from Jesus. The claims of others about 1 Thessalonians 4:16 believe that the Bible must be written in this way: “because the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a commanding call, with a voice of the archangel and with God’s trumpet, …”   or “because the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a commanding call, with a shout of an archangel and with God’s trumpet,…” The sentence above shows as Jesus descends with a commanding call there was an archangel with a voice/shout (a calling) and a sound call of God’s trumpet. We know that the command of Jesus will cause the dead to resurrect. So definitely, the archangel’s voice would not mean that after Jesus had his commanding call the archangel would call also. This is invalid. So we will assume that the archangel is calling Jesus to descend from heaven. Again this is not possible because if Jesus will really call by an archangel then the voice of the archangel must be written in another way like this: “the Lord himself will descend from heaven with the voice of the archangel, with a commanding call and with God’s trumpet, …”  There is no possible way of interpreting it as there is really an archangel who is calling Jesus to descend unless it is written in the way above and this way. But even this translation will be used is still confusing to the readers since Jesus will call by the archangel and he would have a commanding call. How do we say that the commanding call is from Jesus based on the proper sentence that must appear to indicate that there is really no archangel separate from Jesus? First, if the commanding call is not from Jesus, it would be a redundant as the archangel is shouting already and still the archangel’s has a voice to call.If there is the archangel separated from Jesus who is calling then the original sentence should be written only in this way “The Lord himself will descend from heaven with a call of the archangel and with God’s trumpet.” Second, if he[the archangel separated from Jesus] is the one who has a commanding call then he would make himself as the one who causes the dead to resurrect. Therefore, it is really invalid. If others would insist that there is really an archangel’s calling or a shout call in order Jesus to descend, then the preposition “with” would fall into something which involved the same time just as I have mentioned in the examples above. The word “with” in “with the voice of the archangel” would definitely indicate that time is involved thus it means as Jesus descends there is an archangel’s shout of voice. And this would not possible to happen before Jesus descends because the word “with” indicate an event is happening accompanied with the first event that is happening also. This is an example of preposition “with” under the same time. As a dare to those who said it is an archangel who is calling separated from Jesus then can he cite a sentence using “with” in the second phrase that happen first before the first phrase happen? As I would like to point out the commanding call of Jesus would not be repeated by the archangel because Jesus himself is the one that will cause the dead to resurrect and not by an archangel. Even in using the same context of that sentence just like in the sentence below is not valid in relation to 1 Thessalonians 4:16 of other versions. “The President went out with a commanding order, with a shout/voice of the commander and with musical background.” It is plain to understand that as the president went out with a commanding order there is a shout of call of a commander with musical background. This happens all at the same time and not a shout of a commander followed by the president’s commanding order. But rather it should be written in this way if there is really a call of a commander: “The President went out with the shout/voice of the commander, then with a commanding order and with musical background.” This applies consecutive event as the president went out. Another thing, Jesus is not the name given to Jesus when he was created. It is because the name Jesus means “Jehovah is Salvation” which we can see implicitly in Matthew 1:21 which is in relation with the meaning of the name Joshua. In this verse Jesus is called Jesus because he is going to save the nation of God – the Israel but now includes the Gentile nations (Hosea 2:23). Another logical proof that Jesus is not the name of Jesus is because Jehovah created earth to be inhabited by the people eternally starting from Adam and Eve – Genesis 1:26 – 30. Notice verse 26, God created Adam and Eve according to their (Jehovah, Jesus and all the angels) image. One nature which shows image of God and Jesus (before he became man) is that they could live eternally if they will follow God’s will. Thus, God wanted the people to live on earth forever. However, death comes because Adam have sinned against God – Romans 5:12. Jesus name was given as his name because he is going to save God’s nation so how could Jesus be his name before in heaven before God created man if God’s plan to people is to live forever on earth? So it is impossible to have the name Jesus but rather Michael which means “Who is like God?” The meaning of the name Michael signifies very important and relevant to Michael (Jesus) himself for it shows that there is no one like God. Moreover, the carrier of that name reveals the person itself about the personality of God and since Jesus is the exact representation of God and the invisible image of God then, of course the carrier of that name reveals the high qualities of a person that reveals the high qualities of the Almighty God. Jesus is the only the best one among all who fits to bear the meaning of that name! Therefore, there is no reason not to believe that Jesus is not Michael the Archangel. How about Hebrews 1:5, does it says Jesus is not an angel? Hebrews 1:5 For example, to which one of the angels did he ever say: “You are my son; I, today, I have become your father”? And again: “I myself shall become his father, and he himself will become my son”? (underlined and highlighted for emphasis) The underlined phrase does not say that Jesus is not an angel. A sentence like this, “To which one of the students did you ever say ‘you are number one’?” The statement suggests that the one who is number one is also a student. Thus it suggests that the number one student is one of the students. The same applies in Hebrew 1:5. Jesus is an angel and he is the only one called by Jehovah to be his son and that He will become his [Jesus] father. The verse does not violate Jesus as to be an angel. He is an angel who is first in rank that is why he is called an archangel. Another example, “To which one of the teachers did you ever say ‘you are best’?” The word “best” is given to a teacher who is someone considered as best. The same applies with Hebrews 1:5. Actually, Hebrews 1:13 prove within its context that Jesus is not Jehovah. In that context Jehovah is saying to his son [Jesus] to sit on his right side which is also written in Psalms 110:1. Here are some other examples that the reader may study in relation to Hebrews 1:5.

1. With regards to the Friend, He told “To which one of the youth did I ever said, ‘You are my Friend’?”

2.      With regards to the One, He told, “To which one of the men I said, ‘You are the One’?”

Both sentence requires that “the Friend” and “the One” belongs to the group of class called “youth” and “men” respectively. Let us have another one. “With regards to the Prince, He told, “To which one of the strong men, I told ‘You are my Prince.” NOTE: The above examples does not show literal sameness in the structure of Hebrews 1:5 since it has added the preceding phrase but it helps the readers understand the person as identified as the one spoken about by the speaker is special and would only valid if he belongs to the class of persons whom he is being compared with. This is a comparison about the special person who is being compared with the other persons. It would only make significant and would give emphasis of the special person if he is part or belong to the class of strong men of whom he is being compared with. Let us see in the following example if the person being compared would become really special if not part of the group or class. “With regards to the Man, He said, “To which one of the women, I said, ‘You are [a man] so dear to me.” At first understanding this sounds really bad because the man is not connecting with the women. Of course the statement above cannot hold the specialness of the person spoken about who is being compared to the class or group because the man is distinct and not part of the class. However, taken not the words in the bracket would mean that there is a woman from among women who is so dear to him yet it really doesn’t connect with the first phrase indeed. “With regards to the Son, He said, “To which one of my daughters, I said ‘You are special.” The Son is not being specified as the special one but rather there is a special one from among the daughters and not the son himself. The same thing can see – that the person spoken about doesn’t connect with the daughters. But look at this example and see the difference with the last one above. “With regards to the Son, He said, “To which one of my children, I said ‘You are lovable’. This only indicates that the son is special since it is with regards with him or about him who is being compared with the other children as “lovable” and it clearly shows that he belongs or a member of the class of the children. Thus in Hebrews 1:5, the Son would only be special if he really belongs to the class of angels making him as special from among the other angels. What about Jesus and his angels in some verses? Would it mean that he is not an angel and not belong to the class of angels? Not really. If I say “I have my men”, would it make me different from them and not consider myself as a man? If I also say “I have friends”, would it mean that I could not consider myself a friend? What about God and his angels should we say that God is also an angel? Not really. Though angels are gods too (1 Corinthians 8:5; Psalms 8:5 [‘godlike’ see the Hebrew text]), it would have not to say that God is an angel since angels means messenger. A messenger is a one who receives a message from the giver of the message. Just as “I” will not become “You” as a person because we are two different individuals or I am an uncle and would have become myself as a nephew of myself (as an uncle) is really illogical. Just as the receiver is different from the giver, Jehovah is different with Jesus or the Father is distinct with the Son who are both present with each other at specific time. (Revelation 1:1; Hebrews 12:2). In an illustration just below we will see that God cannot be an angel. In a government there is a president or a king and he has military people. The highest military official of his government would be the General. This General should have his army and the General really belongs to the class or group of army and so Jesus and his angels means he belongs from the class of angels he has. Thus, “the General and his army” is also the same in real thought with “Jesus [the Archangel] and his angels”. While “the President/King and his army”, is also similar with the words “God and his angels” but doesn’t mean he belongs that group or class. Another implicit meaning of angel could mean as servant. Since Jesus is an angel and subordinate to Jehovah then he is a servant of God. (Isaiah 53:11; Zechariah 3:8; Matthew 12:18; Isaiah 42:1) Likewise, Jesus’ angels are subordinate to Jesus thus they are servants too of Jesus (compare Hebrews 1:6 and Philippians 2:10) Jesus said that a servant is not greater than his lord and the sent one is not greater than to the one who sent him (John 13:16). For additional information about Jesus as the Michael the Archangel please visit this links.

ADDITIONAL STUDY: However, some would questions as how would it mean if it is being said as “with an archangel’s voice”? Some would say that since the NWT translators used the indefinite article (an) then it would mean that the archangel is one from among the archangels. This is not really the thought that is implying in the sentence. We should know that “with an archangel’s voice” denotes quality of voice rather than suggesting a literal voice comparable to voice of some sort of angels. The words “with an archangel’s voice” is more proper to use than “with a voice of an archangel” since the second phrase clearly suggests a literal voice of archangel (which would be indefinite in a sense) while the first phrase really suggest the implicit thought of having authority as of being the archangel (as definite identity). The NWT gives a better clarification that Jesus is having an archangel’s voice. The voice is being emphasized here as it is being compared with the other voices of persons. Thus, there would have different voices which suggest authority of different persons. Again, it is not literal voice comparable to different voices of persons but rather it suggests authority in implicit thought. If I say, “The man went out with an American flag.” This clearly shows that the man went out carrying an American flag. Should we say, since it uses “an” then, it means there are many flags of America? No, but rather it suggests that there is only one American flag that is recognized by the people of America. The word “an” is used as a possession of a thing for the person spoken about and since the noun begins with letter “A” then “an” should be used but it doesn’t convey a meaning of being indefinite noun. Therefore, “an American flag” is a qualitative noun yet a definite noun but it can be indefinite from among flags or that is comparable with the other flags of the nations. Likewise, “an archangel’s voice” denotes a qualitative noun that suggests authority of the persons describes as of being THE archangel thus a DEFINITE noun rather than being an indefinite noun. However, the voice is being indefinite from among many angels who may have authority also that is why Michael was called “one of the foremost princes” in the book of Daniel since he is not the only one prince however, he is the only one called “Great Prince” showing a single person for that position – that is the Great Prince of all the angels. Jesus is “King of Kings and Lord of Lords”. Since kings are also called prominent persons then Jesus although he is the King of kings and Lord of lords is also one of the prominent persons because he belongs from among kings and from among lords. Jehovah indeed is called Prince of Princes in Daniel 8:25 (see the Hebrew Interlinear).  The words “Prince of princes” here does not shows second in the position but rather it shows an implicit thought of having authority from among ELOHIM (GODS; see Deuteronomy 10:17; Psalms 136:2; Psalms 135:5; Psalms 97:9; Psalms 95:3) who suggest of being majestic and excellence in its superlative case. Thus, Jehovah as the Prince of princes suggests he is a person who has the greatest authority from among those who have authorities in heaven and on earth. (Compare this with the authority given to Jesus in Hebrews 2:8; 1 Peter 3:22 and the authority of God in all in 1 Corinthians 15:27 – 28). The word “prince” does not literally mean second authority but literally it means as the one who takes first place in the position. However, Jesus being the Great Prince does not mean that he is the Prince of princes. Although Jesus is called the Great Prince in heaven he is not the highest person in heaven but he is the highest person in angels ranking. Jehovah is the Prince of prince or the Prince of all but Jesus is the Great Prince in heaven. There is nothing wrong as Jehovah and Jesus are both first since Jehovah is being exclusive from all as he is the first ABOVE ALL while Jesus is the first AMONG ALL (which denotes of being of the same class or group or a member of among all the creation of Jehovah) excluding Jehovah God. Just as the General could have his army the President could have also his army and the General is also his army. The same thing applies to Jehovah and Jesus. Jehovah has his angels and Jesus who also belongs to the class of angels has his angels (see the link in the watchtower’s site) thus both are being first above all the angels. So, would the Trinitarians insist also that “THEOS” in John 1:1c is both qualitative and definite because of 1 Thessalonians 4:16 that the word “archangel” is definite as I have presented? No, because the Bible verse spoken about above ONLY shows of having or possessing the abstract quality (i.e. authority as of being the archangel) and not as of showing or depicting the physical qualities [i.e. qualities as of being [an] archangel who may be indefinite from among archangel (as other thought) but unfortunately this doesn’t prove to be true]. While, the word “THEOS’ in John 1:1c does not reflect of being definite and that it should not be identified it as identity simply because it would contradict with the preceding phrase that is “the Word is with God” showing that the Word is accompanied with God. In order to say that THEOS in John 1:1c is definite and an identity as of being the God, then it must not contradict itself within the context of the said verse. If we say, “The Son of God is with Almighty God” would it mean that the Son of God is also the Almighty God or the Son of God is with no one else but only himself? Then, to whom the word “Almighty God” refers to and the word “with” points to? If I say, the understanding of the word of God (the Bible) is in concordance WITH Scriptural evidences, how must one view it? That is the Bible concepts are presented along with the Scriptures itself. Thus, the Biblical concept (in the mind) that Word as being the Son of God and not God is presented WITH (separated from the mind) the Scriptural verses in the Bible. Of course, Trinitarians do also used Bible verses to support their own doctrines but in twisted ways. So what is common here and what is the explicit idea that I am saying? That is both (Trinitarians and Anti-Trinitarians) have concepts in their mind that is being approve by themselves by the use of the Scriptural verses. Thus, concepts are formulated in their mind based on how they understand the Scriptures. Therefore, the human knowledge (false and true) is set upon by human based on their perceived thoughts through observations. So there is “YOU” who is present WITH the principles in the Bible and it only needs “YOU” to perceive that principles in the Bible. In conclusion, the word “WITH” only suggest that there is a thing that is accompanied or present with another thing or there is a thing separated from the other thing whether it can be seen or not seen. Please see this link for some scholars who believe that Jesus is Michael the Archangel. Quotes From Scholars Concerning Jesus as Michael the Archangel