>I Timothy 5:21 "Elect Angels"

>Hell part 3 is in the hopper, but before I polish that off, I wanted to share out of one of my recent Bible studies.

I’ve been doing Greek word studies along side of some study on hermeneutics (Bible interpretation)… This is where 85% of you tune out and click back to your facebook homepage… HA! Anyhow, for those of you who are interested…

An interesting New Testament Greek word is “aggelos” translated “angels” or “messengers.” Most often, it refers to angelic beings and sometimes it refers to human messengers. Context decides the translation.

Jesus, in Matthew 11:10, Mark 1:2 & Luke 7:27, quotes Malachi 3:1 “Behold, I send my messenger (Gk: “aggelos”), and he will prepare the way before me” and reveals that the passage is a prophetically fulfilled in John the Baptist, who prepared the way for Israel’s Messiah. The Greek word “aggelos” in the synoptic gospels (translated “messenger”) refers to the man, John the Baptist.

Likewise, Luke 7:24, Luke 9:52, & James 2:25 use the word “aggelos” to describe human messengers and not angelic beings. The “aggelos” to the seven churches in the book of Revelation Chp. 2 &3 are thought, by some, to have been human messengers with the letters from John to the respective churches.

Now, lets turn our attention to I Timothy 5:21

Do not admit a charge against an elder except on the evidence of two or three witnesses. As for those who persist in sin, rebuke them in the presence of all, so that the rest may stand in fear. In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of the elect angels I charge you to keep these rules without prejudging, doing nothing from partiality.
I Timothy 5:19-21 ESV

The translation of the Greek “eklekton aggelon” into “elect angels” seems questionable to me, considering the immediate context of the passage. Paul is speaking of accountability and discipline in the church, for church “elders” (i.e. leaders). He references Deuteronomy when he admonishes that accusations must be established by “two or three witnesses.” Under Mosaic Law, accusations had to be substantiated by human witnesses in order to be valid for prosecution. Following this, Paul charges Timothy “in the presence of God, and Jesus Christ, and the elect angels…” Young’s Literal Translation translates “ton eleckton angelon” as “the chosen messengers.” Considering the flexibility of the Greek article “ton” the passage could read…

“In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and these chosen messengers, I charge you…”

Just as John, on the Isle of Patmos, would have entrusted the letters God gave him to human messengers who would deliver the letters to the churches, Paul had carriers of letters he wrote to churches. The Greek could be translated “these chosen messengers,” in reference to Paul’s entrusted human messengers of his letter to Timothy rather than “elect angels” serving as a witness to his commands to Timothy.

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About kurtkjohnson

Husband to Abbey Johnson, proud father, irregular blogger and occasionally creative. View all posts by kurtkjohnson

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