I agree with much of your article, but (you could hear the “but” right away, couldn’t you?) I’d like to add a couple observations that you may find interesting.

First, on the etymology of the word “evangelist”, I’m sure you’re aware that its roots go back even further to the Greek “aggelos”, which itself was a translation from the Hebrew “malak”. Thing is, if you look up all the times that “aggelos” is used in the NT and “malak” is used in the OT (blueletterbible.org provides an easy tool to do so), you’ll find that they were not used to refer to angels sent by God, but to anyone sent either to deliver a message or to accomplish a deed. This includes ambassadors to Israel from other nations (who did not worship the God of Abraham). The spies of Rahab were referred to as “malak” in the OT and as “aggelos” in the NT. You can verify this for yourself by using the tool in the website above to search for uses for the word “messenger”, and then look at the verses found in the Hebrew or Greek language, as applicable. Here’s a better definition from Strong’s Concordance (from the reference above):

מֲלְאָךְ mălʼâk, mal-awk’; from an unused root meaning to despatch as a deputy; a messenger; specifically, of God, i.e. an angel (also a prophet, priest or teacher): — ambassador, angel, king, messenger.

Our ‘modern’ conception of ‘angel’, however, comes from the Catholic Saint Jerome who (in his Latin Vulgate) believed that he knew which “malak” and “aggelos” were or were not heavenly beings, and decided on his own to call the ones he believed were heavenly beings as “angels”, and the ones he believed weren’t heavenly by other names. While one can easily understand his motive, this also opens the door to misunderstanding of the pristine Gospel if he didn’t translate properly every single time out of the hundreds of times that “malak” and “aggelos” were used in the Bible. (full disclosure: I am a member of the Church of Christ and we believe that yes, Jerome did mistranslate (or at least greatly misunderstood) one of the uses of “aggelos”).

Second, concerning the utter hypocrisy of today’s right-wing evangelicals, you and I are in complete agreement. Thing is, this is nothing new for them, and I’m sure you know as well as I do the long, bloody history of mainstream “Christianity”, from the massacre of Jews and Muslims during the First Crusade to the wars between the Catholics and the Protestants, from the first Jewish Ghetto outside Rome to the Spanish Inquisition (which finally came to an end when Napoleon took over Spain), from the supposedly-“Christian” Ku Klux Klan to the Holocaust (in what was at the time a majority-Lutheran nation).

Indeed, by their works shall ye know them. There is a true Church, but not within Protestantism or Catholicism or today’s right-wing evangelicals.

Written by

Retired Navy. Inveterate contrarian. If I haven’t done it, I’ve usually done something close.

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