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The Angel of the Lord: An Angel or a Pre-incarnate Appearance of the Second Person of the Trinity


Angel of the Lord or Angel of God is one of the many terms which is use in the Hebrew bible referring to an angel. Malech, the Biblical term for angel simply translates as the 'messenger', who was further signifies with the addition of the word 'God' that resulted in varied appellations including Sons of God and the Holy Ones. Nevertheless, in the Hebrew Bible, angelic messengers are represented as often appearing before the people in the shape of human beings of extraordinary beauty but are not at once recognized as angels. While some angels are said to be flying through the air, becoming invisible, disappearing in sacrificial fire and appearing in the flames of the thornbush.

The Angel of the Lord signifies the special self-manifestation of God hence can never replace God's presence and has no individuality. Within the Hebrew Bible, angels have no uniform conception. In the Christian perception, however, the term 'Angel of the Lord' refers to a pre-incarnate appearance of Jesus Christ. This is because the New Testament does not specifically point out the appearance of the Angel of the Lord, concluding that he is now incarnated as Jesus Christ. However, Angel of the Lord is also considered as a general representation of God the Father, taking from the verses that no one can look upon the face of the Lord and alive.

Research Problem

Whether the Angel of the Lord is an angel which is a heavenly being or a pre-incarnate appearance of Jesus Christ is not known. When it comes to the Biblical evidences, what does verses tells about Angel of the Lord as an angel or the pre-incarnate of the Son? Why Hebrew believed that Angel of the Lord is an angel and why Christians believed that Angel of the Lord is pre-incarnate persona of the Son? How Angel of the Lord's two identities could be reconciled or is there a way or rationale for reconciliation? These and other questions will be given answer to in the progress of this research.

Research Methodology

This research will be explanatory as it will focus in establishing causal relationship between the angel of the Lord as an angel and angel of the Lord as a pre-incarnate of the second person of the trinity. This research will study the situation of the problem and then explains the relationship between the variables. Exploratory studies intend to find out what is happening or to seek new insights by asking questions to experts or conducting focus-group interviews. It can also utilize literature search to explore further on the focused topic. The technique in exploratory research is that it starts with a broad set of questions and then, as the research progresses, the researcher narrows them down.

In this study, primary and secondary research will be both incorporated. The reason for this is to be able to provide adequate discussion for the readers that will help them understand more about the issue and the different variables that involve with it. The primary data for the study will be represented by the focus group interviews. An interview schedule will be designed and utilised as the instrument of this research. Sometimes, secondary research is required in the preliminary stages of research to determine what is known already and what new data are required, or to inform research design. Secondary resources of the research are white papers, reports, theses and related studies and journal contents.


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