The Bible Is a Parable: A Middle Ground Between Science and Religion
were probably an effort to justify why these messengers seemed to be able to defy the law
of gravity, to appear to hang suspended halfway between earth and the heavens.
Earlier still in the backdrop of prehistory there seem to have been animal attributes
representing powers that Man recognized that he lacked, but had yearned for, over the
eons of his rise from out of that natural order that had incubated him. The majestically
maned head of the lion, with its powerful jaws, the cruelly sharp beak and talons of the
eagle, the monstrously strong body of huge herbivores that gave protection from all but
the most aggressive of the predators, seemed to represent as well as could be imagined,
the all but invisible powers of that which lay just beyond Man‘s ability to sense directly.
These early representations appear to me to have emerged gradually from out of those
same eons of prehistoric thinking, that had always tried to imagine what the vessels that
contained these more than human powers must look like.
The metamorphosis toward a clearly human form within which most angels are
pictured today—where they have only the power to do good, then disappear which makes
them stand out from all the rest of us—has progressed in keeping with our ability to
recognize the increasing subtlety of those differences
In the ancient past of recorded history, both oral and written, they appeared as agents
of the believer‘s God (or gods) that Man had extrapolated from the merest of conjectural
They spoke as with the thunder that loudly rolled over the hills, they saw with the
sharpness of the lightning that occasionally claimed an apparently random victim. Their
visage, as with other heavenly bodies, was too bright to more than glance at with any
Their message also seems to have evolved from that crack of doom that came to Man
as he stood perched on that anciently -sharp edge of extinction; | to the more morally
oriented message of correct behavior that came concurrent with Man‘s increased civility
that allowed his civilizations to emerge and advance; to the words of encouragement for
those who couldn‘t understand the injustice of the ever more complicated rulership of our
latter-day past. O ur understanding has advanced.
From the -Be not afraid | message meant to assuage the wondering terror that still
haunted Man from out of the vulnerability of his precariously uncertain past as he
encountered these seemingly otherworldly experiences, to the modern versions of angels,
meant only to help an individual overcome the -stumbling stones | of life; these have also
evolved over that great expanse, from prehistoric through prebiblical and biblical times,
to the present-day elucidations.
So, if many of these representations have come to us from out of that ancient
prebiblical past, the context out of which the O ld Testament was most likely fashioned,
from where have we received the more modern versions?
Persian Zoroastrianism seems to have brought us -persons of light | that sometimes
-stars | were the embodiment of.
-Under the general name of Amesha Spentas (Immortal Holy Ones) are grouped the
six archangels who personify fundamental virtues and abstract ideas…In addition are a
number of angels and lesser divinities, called Worshipful O nes who are more eminent
than the rest, and include divine personifications of the planets…[and] Mithra, a divinity
that incarnates light and truth…These too are almost parallel ideas as to the world‘s