[Milton-L] Re: the wings again

Horace Jeffery Hodges jefferyhodges at yahoo.com
Thu Jan 3 13:38:11 EST 2008


Thanks, Jason. I'd rather be corrected than remain wrong.
   
  Jeffery Hodges

Jason Kerr <aelfric at gmail.com> wrote:
  If I may be forgiven a gentle corrective to a parenthetical remark of Jeffery's--with whom, by the way, I agree about the referent of "they"--Mormons do not believe the Son to be an angel. To quote a recent statement by Jeffrey R. Holland, a Mormon apostle, "I think it is accurate to say we believe They [the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost] are one in every significant and eternal aspect imaginable except believing Them to be three persons combined in one substance." The speech, which I confess is more polemical than I care to be here, can be read at:

http://lds.org/conference/talk/display/0,5232,23-1-775-15,00.html

In other words, as a full-fledged member of the Godhead, the Son (though separate in substance) is precisely as superior to the angels as is the Father. So we would stand unequivocally by the statement in Hebrews that the Son is "so much better than the angels," as we would also stand by the low-Christological assertion in the next chapter that "Jesus ... was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death" (Heb. 2:9). 

I think we can all agree that Milton wasn't Mormon, so this is a digression at best (albeit one made in the interest of scholarly exactness). However, it raises an interesting issue that _is_ relevant: what exactly do we mean by "angel"? 

Insofar as "angel" comes from a Greek word meaning "messenger," surely there is some sense in which, if the figure on the cross in the paintings is Christ, He is acting as a messenger of sorts, i.e., as an angel. This does not, however, account for the sense of angels as a distinct order (or orders) of being that seems, to me at least, to be a sense of aggelos not found in pre-NT usage, but for which, nevertheless, there seems to be some scriptural basis. So my questions are as follows: how did the Hebrew words "seraphim" and "cherubim" and so on come to be linked to the Greek word "aggelos"? (A better scholar of biblical languages than I can surely be of help here.) Milton clearly has made the connection in PL, but then his angelology (if that's what it's called) is hardly Orthodox, in that he gives his angels substance, albeit "ethereal." Aquinas, I believe, wrote that angels do not have substance, but merely assume it (and "airy" substance at that). 

Jason A. Kerr




  On Jan 3, 2008 8:45 AM, Matthew Stallard <ms493101 at ohio.edu> wrote:
  It would appear that some of the Marian exiles also believed the Son to be
an angel. A few of the 1560 Geneva Bible notes indicate this. Consider this
one example asserting that Michael and Christ are one and the same: "And at 
that time shal Michael stand vp, ye great prince, which standeth for ye
children of thy people, & there shall be a time of trouble, such as neuer
was since there began to be a nation vnto that same time: and at that time 
thy people shal be deliuered, euery one that shal be foud written in ye
boke" (Daniel 12:1). Geneva note: "The angel here notes two things: first
that the Church will be in great affliction and trouble at Christ's coming, 
and next that God will send his angel to deliver it, to whome he here
calleth Michael, meaning Christ, who is published by the preaching of the
Gospel."

That others have read the verse in this way is also indicated by the 
defensive posture taken by Barnes's note: "There is no authority for
applying this to the Messiah, as many have done, for the term Michael is
not elsewhere given to him, and all that the language fairly conveys is met 
by the other supposition. The simple meaning is, that he who was the
guardian angel of that nation, or who was appointed to watch over its
interests, would at that time of great trouble interpose and render aid." 

Matthew Stallard



--On Wednesday, January 02, 2008 6:30 PM -0800 Horace Jeffery Hodges
    
  <jefferyhodges at yahoo.com> wrote: 

>
> Sure, we can go to bed. And I agree that the Orthodox position is that
> the Son cannot be an angel (despite Origen, the Jehovah's Witnesses, and
> the Mormons), though I wonder how clear this was to Saint Francis. The 
> saints, after all, are famously close to being heretics.
> I have the suspicion that Bonaventure was trying to make St. Francis as
> orthodox as possible and thus wants to avoid supporting either the view 
> that Francis saw Christ as an winged angel or that Francis saw an
> unfallen angel suffering. So, he seems to want to portray the vision as
> one of Francis's own self/soul/heart in the form of a seraph in the 
> likeness of a suffering, crucified Christ.
> One of the comments on the blog entry also suggested this sort of thing.
>
> Jeffery Hodges
>
> Roy Flannagan < roy at gwm.sc.edu> wrote:
>
> OK. I will stand on what I wrote and what the Bishop told me was now
> orthodox: that Jesus could not be an angel and that that assumption was
> based on the first chapter in Hebrews, which does after all say that the 
> Son is "made so much better than the angels."
>
> Now can we go to bed soon?
>
> Roy F
>
>>>> jefferyhodges at yahoo.com 1/2/2008 8:01:56 PM >>>
> Roy, I don't think that 1.9 is referred back to in 1.11 because the
> former is a quote from Psalm 45.6-7 (where the companions might be
> angels), whereas the latter is a quote from Psalm 102.25-27, which
> doesn't refer to angels, not even in its context.
>
> Verses 10-11 in Hebrews chapter 1 compose a unit used as a prooftext,
> and the "they" that will perish will also be 'rolled up' -- an 
> eschatological image sometimes used with reference to the end of the
> heavens and the earth, which, being 'flat', could be rolled up.
>
> So, I don't see strong evidence that the "they" includes angels 
> (unless one argues that the earth and the heavens that will perish
> necessarily includes those creatures that inhabit these places -- but
> which 'heavens' is being referred to here, anyway, merely the sky or 
> also the divine realm?).
>
> But I'm open to persuasion.
>
> Jeffery Hodges
>
> Roy Flannagan wrote:
> Jeffery,
>
> I think Milton most likely identified Paul as the author of Hebrews, 
> whether he was or not. The angels are last mentioned in 1.7, but
> surely
> they are included in the "they" that grow old and perish, who seem to
> be
> the "fellows" of 1.9. By 1.13, "angels" are back, and in 1.14 we are
> back to "ministering spirits."
>
> Roy F
>
>>>> jefferyhodges at yahoo.com 1/2/2008 7:25:19 PM >>>
> Well, "odd contributions" are a specialty of the Milton List -- as
> many
> of my own emails would prove...
>
> But doesn't Hebrews 1:11 refer to the earth and the heavens? I don't 
> see angels being specified as the "they" that will perish.
>
> By the way, Paul is not usually considered the author of Hebrews
> (though there is a minority opinion that he wrote it). 
>
> Jeffery (note the "-ery") Hodges
>
> Roy Flannagan wrote:
> This will be an odd contribution to this discussion, but I just
> talked
> to a friend who is the ex-Bishop of Pittsburgh (Episcopal) to get a 
> theological opinion, and he tells me that, based on a distinction made
> in Hebrews, Jesus cannot be regarded as an angel (after death, of
> course). My response to this is an uneducated one, and the Bishop's of 
> course is Protestant, but Hebrews 1.4 does expressly say that the Son
> is
> "made so much better than the angels" and the angels "shall perish;
> but
> thou ["Lord"] remainest, and they all shall wax old as doth a garment" 
> (1.11, quoted from the AV). So, for Paul, the angels are mortal and
> the
> Son is not.
>
> Now, Giotto, together with his followers as collected by Jeffrey
> Hodges, still might have associated the figure that came to St. 
> Francis
> in the dream as being less and less seraphic and more and more like
> Christ on the cross. I wonder if Giotto didn't start something. After
> all, his fresco is in Assisi.
>
> Roy Flannagan
>
>>>> jefferyhodges at yahoo.com 1/2/2008 6:11:00 PM >>>
> For convenience in viewing, I've now posted all those images on my 
> blog, along with some of our commentary:
>
>
> http://gypsyscholarship.blogspot.com/2008/01/saint-francis-receiving-stig 
> mata-from_03.html
>
>
>
>
> I had imagined that posting these would be simple, but I spent two
> hours on it! Still, the result was worth the time invested.
>
> Jeffery Hodges 
>
> gilliaca at jmu.edu wrote:
>>> I am, however, glad that the question was posed, for
>> I might otherwise never have become of aware of this
>> fascinating series of artworks depicting a 
>> extraordinary winged Christ . . . or perhaps an
>> ordinary winged seraph who happens to be crucified
>> and looks exactly like Christ.
>
>
> Yes - those are stunning! And I expect you - and others - are right 
> about the biblical reference as source. But look at what enchanting
> places we got led to as, in my case, I pretend that Monday will NOT
> bring the start of classes.
> C
> Cynthia A. Gilliatt 
> English Department, JMU
> JMU Safe Zones participant
> "You have made God in your own image when God hates the same people
> you
> hate." Fr. John Weston
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>
>
> University Degrees:
>
> Ph.D., History, U.C. Berkeley
> (Doctoral Thesis: "Food as Synecdoche in John's Gospel and Gnostic 
> Texts")
> M.A., History of Science, U.C. Berkeley
> B.A., English Language and Literature, Baylor University
>
> Email Address:
>
> jefferyhodges at yahoo.com
>
> Blog:
>
> http://gypsyscholarship.blogspot.com/
>
> Office Address:
>
> Assistant Professor Horace Jeffery Hodges 
> School of English, Kyung Hee University
> 1 Hoegi-dong, Dongdaemun-gu
> Seoul, 130-701
> South Korea
>
> Home Address:
>
> Dr. Sun-Ae Hwang and Dr. Horace Jeffery Hodges
> Gunyoung Apt. 102-204
> Sangbong-dong 1
> Jungnang-gu
> Seoul 131-771
> South Korea
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>
>
>
> University Degrees:
>
> Ph.D., History, U.C. Berkeley
> (Doctoral Thesis: "Food as Synecdoche in John's Gospel and Gnostic
> Texts")
> M.A., History of Science, U.C. Berkeley
> B.A., English Language and Literature, Baylor University
>
> Email Address:
>
> jefferyhodges at yahoo.com
>
> Blog:
> 
> http://gypsyscholarship.blogspot.com/
>
> Office Address:
>
> Assistant Professor Horace Jeffery Hodges
> School of English, Kyung Hee University 
> 1 Hoegi-dong, Dongdaemun-gu
> Seoul, 130-701
> South Korea
>
> Home Address:
>
> Dr. Sun-Ae Hwang and Dr. Horace Jeffery Hodges
> Gunyoung Apt. 102-204
> Sangbong-dong 1 
> Jungnang-gu
> Seoul 131-771
> South Korea
> _______________________________________________
> Milton-L mailing list
> Milton-L at lists.richmond.edu 
> Manage your list membership and access list archives at
> http://lists.richmond.edu/mailman/listinfo/milton-l
>
>
>
> University Degrees:
>
> Ph.D., History, U.C. Berkeley
> (Doctoral Thesis: "Food as Synecdoche in John's Gospel and Gnostic
> Texts")
> M.A., History of Science, U.C. Berkeley
> B.A., English Language and Literature, Baylor University
>
> Email Address:
>
> jefferyhodges at yahoo.com
>
> Blog:
> 
> http://gypsyscholarship.blogspot.com/
>
> Office Address:
>
> Assistant Professor Horace Jeffery Hodges
> School of English, Kyung Hee University 
> 1 Hoegi-dong, Dongdaemun-gu
> Seoul, 130-701
> South Korea
>
> Home Address:
>
> Dr. Sun-Ae Hwang and Dr. Horace Jeffery Hodges
> Gunyoung Apt. 102-204
> Sangbong-dong 1 
> Jungnang-gu
> Seoul 131-771
> South Korea
> _______________________________________________
> Milton-L mailing list
> Milton-L at lists.richmond.edu 
> Manage your list membership and access list archives at
> http://lists.richmond.edu/mailman/listinfo/milton-l
>
>
>
>
> University Degrees:
>
> Ph.D., History, U.C. Berkeley
> (Doctoral Thesis: "Food as Synecdoche in John's Gospel and Gnostic Texts")
> M.A., History of Science, U.C. Berkeley
> B.A., English Language and Literature, Baylor University
>
> Email Address:
>
> jefferyhodges at yahoo.com
>
> Blog:
> 
> http://gypsyscholarship.blogspot.com/
>
> Office Address:
>
> Assistant Professor Horace Jeffery Hodges
> School of English, Kyung Hee University 
> 1 Hoegi-dong, Dongdaemun-gu
> Seoul, 130-701
> South Korea
>
> Home Address:
>
> Dr. Sun-Ae Hwang and Dr. Horace Jeffery Hodges
> Gunyoung Apt. 102-204
> Sangbong-dong 1 
> Jungnang-gu
> Seoul 131-771
> South Korea





__________________________________
Matthew Stallard
Ohio University
Department of English
347 Ellis Hall
Athens, OH 45701 
matthew.s.stallard.1 at ohio.edu
Office: 740-597-2926
Home: 740-698-3409
Cell: 740-591-4273
    
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-- 
The purpose of poetry is to remind us
how difficult it is to remain just one person,
for our house is open, there are no keys in the doors, 
and invisible guests come in and out at will.

          ?”Czeslaw Milosz, from "Ars Poetica?" _______________________________________________
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University Degrees:

Ph.D., History, U.C. Berkeley
(Doctoral Thesis: "Food as Synecdoche in John's Gospel and Gnostic Texts")
M.A., History of Science, U.C. Berkeley
B.A., English Language and Literature, Baylor University

Email Address:

jefferyhodges at yahoo.com

Blog:

http://gypsyscholarship.blogspot.com/

Office Address:

Assistant Professor Horace Jeffery Hodges
School of English, Kyung Hee University
1 Hoegi-dong, Dongdaemun-gu
Seoul, 130-701
South Korea

Home Address:

Dr. Sun-Ae Hwang and Dr. Horace Jeffery Hodges
Gunyoung Apt. 102-204
Sangbong-dong 1
Jungnang-gu
Seoul 131-771
South Korea
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