Every time a few centuries pass, an angel gets a gun

Stan at TYWKIWDBI posted the above image of a painting titled, “The Archangel Barachiel with Harquebus.”

He wrote:

I have to admit I’ve never considered the possibility of angels/archangels carrying armaments, but I’m undoubtedly ignorant of some Biblical references.  Anyone?

There were a range of answers including discussion of “where’s his wings?” and something to the tune of, a modern depiction of an angel who once wielded a sword.

There was one comment which I found to be true based on my research of the bible and that was this one from Abbie:

I just finished reading the Bible (and the apocrypha!) and angel actually aren’t really that important. The original hebrew word just meant “messenger” so for the most part angels are just ill-defined beings that say stuff for God/Yahweh.

Revelations, which is much later, angels are a more defined concept, and they appear wielding “sharp sickles” in chapter 14.

The idea of “archangels”, armed or not, must be later theology. (Satan as a character is pretty undefined in the Bible. I don’t know where the whole “fallen angel” thing comes from, maybe since the “Satan” (a hebrew word meaning “adversary, NOT a proper noun) in Job is able to speak to God, but the later conception of Satan is not on as good terms.)

AF- the “cherubim” in the OT are winged griffin or sphynx-ish creatures, not chubby baby angels.

While Satan is among the characters that I learned about at church and at school, he’s incredibly quiet in the bible as a singular character. There are gods of the era that are demonized, like Baal. And the character that shows up in Genesis (the snake!), in Job, in the desert temptation scene with Yeshua, and then again in Revelation — we’re made to think he’s the same character.

I was taught that — by taking the bible as a whole — you piece together the picture of Satan. However, the Satan story as a fallen angel is a confused bit of folklore based on a passage in Revelations about a fallen star.

As a Christian, not understanding where Satan comes from is taking the bible out of context. Even though the context is a cobbled together bunch of disconnected stories.

The monsters of the Bible are God and later Jesus, who came to earth in a minuscule pocket of the world to bring salvation from a place called hell that God, nor Jesus, nor the Holy Spirit are able to defeat for whatever reason or another.

Dear Christian, doesn’t that strike you as odd? 

Are we really supposed to accept that Hell is the cosmic equivalent of a vehicle’s blind spot? No matter what Yeshua or God does, they will never be powerful enough to defeat Satan. So by the sheer misfortune of thought crimes, you and your loved ones who don’t invite Yeshua into their hearts are bound for eternity without God’s glowing, all-powerful love?

Something smells fishy. 

Satan is more clearly depicted in tradition than biblical description. As are angels and the monotheism of YHWH.

When read from a certain perspective, the bible makes God out to be several characters who existed in the minds of different tribes and people groups back then. And even the forced ideology of the “trinity” is essentially jamming down your throat that you’re supposed to think three beings are one. Clearly, they are three. But you have to fight logic for faith.

It was tradition and theology that created monotheism, in the form of a pantheistic, back-bending, mind-numbing exercise in mental aerobics.

If you can accept that three are one, than apparently you can accept that God, Satan, Heaven and Hell are plausible and acceptable concepts.

If you can accept that “all-powerfulness” also includes “not-all-powerfullness,” then by Jove, you should be a Christian.