Angels are described as winged creatures carrying messages from the heavens. But do they really exist? If so, where do they come from? The Old Testament consists of various accounts of visitations from divine beings. We can also find accounts of angels in Islamic and Indian texts. Stories of unearthly guardians around the world as being entrusted to both observe and protect. Described as powerful warriors who bring about everything from plague to peace. Are angels supernatural and mystical beings from heaven? Or might they be the gods of ancient times whom they closely correlate with?
Most angels in the Bible have the appearance and form of a man. Some angels are bright, shining, and fiery, while others look like ordinary humans. There are even angels that are invisible, yet their presence is felt, and their voice is heard. Depictions of angels with wings is way to set angels apart from humanity while retaining other aspects of angelic nature. Wings simultaneously represent the heavens and a tie to earth, for even birds, winged creatures, must eventually return to earth.
First Depiction Angels with Wings
Stored in the Vatican is The Sarcophagus of Junius bassus, who died in 359 AD. It has been described as “probably the single most famous piece of early Christian relief sculpture.” On this masterpiece is what’s believed to be the first depictions of wings on angels in all of Christianity. In the centuries that followed, angels almost always showed their wings. Why? Especially since the actual biblical texts rarely describe angels as having bird like appendages.
In most stories of the Old Testament, there is no description of angels having wings; they only appear human. When the angel comes to speak to Abraham, this angel does not have wings. Even though the Angel looks like a man, Abraham bows to him. This is interesting because how did Abraham know he was an angel? The Bible explains beings, of almost divine appearance, that came down from the heavens and helped humanity to develop. There was a supernatural quality to them. The concept of an angel comes from Greco-Roman tradition, stories of Hermes and Iris coming down and giving messages. Other deities, such as Nike in Greek Mythology, appear to have some similar characteristics to angels. While many cultures shared these types of similar characters, they were all gods and of equal composition to each other. Yet angels compared to God in religion are lesser beings.
Dragons and Griffons as Ancient Tech?
Many other beings depicted with wings don’t look human. However conceived, it’s a way of telling us what separates us from them. Angels showing up in various cultures could be the ancients misinterpreting flying technology by adding wings to depict them as being able to fly. The angels depicted in the bible with wings are saying, “we can fly.” Westerners believe in angels, Native Americans believe in the star people, the Egyptian have their gods in their celestial boats above, along with many other religions.
Is the Concept of Angel’s Wings Being Used for Flight even Scientifically Plausible?
The University of London conducted a study in 2009, comparing classic depictions of the wings of angels with actual bird’s wings and how they fly. The flapping motion occurs when a muscle for the up motion and a separate muscle for flapping down. The downward motion generates lift, on the way back up, the wings need to rotate slightly at an angle to generate thrust. If the wing went straight back up at the same angle, it would push back down, making it impossible to fly.
In the classic depictions of angels, we see the wings in the center of the back and very close together. Birds have wings on the sides of their body and have strong muscles for the flapping motion. The angel’s wings are in the center of the back and would not have the proper angle to create lift. Researchers also concluded that angels and their human form would be too heavy for flight. So if angels with their wings were not able to fly, how did they travel up to the heavens? We see and hear stories of the angels rising straight up and straight down. How was this possible?
Today we have the Power of Flight
What if ancient people saw a modern human in flight with a jetpack or a parachute? They would be amazed and think this visitor from the sky is divine and must be God, because they had the power of flight. How would they repeat what they saw and depicted it for future people to know what they meant? Simply adding wings meant that this divine being had a way to lift off the earth and fly.
Did our ancestors try to explain and describe unknown ancient technology by depicting heavenly angels with wings?
The Debate Continues
While religions maintain that angels are the closest beings to God, there is substantial evidence that implies they were of the same race as God. The angel’s from the heavens are similar to the the Sumerian gods and other cultures who are responsible for the birth of a hybrid race of giants, the Nephilim. According to the book of Enoch, angels are directly responsible for humanity, beginning its evolution. The descriptions and characteristics related to the beings of other worlds fit perfectly with the description, not only of the angels, but of the ancient gods of all ancient religions. The Bible also mentions great technologically advanced artifacts that, even today, would be impossible to replicate, such as the Ark of the Covenant.
Many religions are interpretations of older beliefs or supposed histories. Compared to other writings, biblical accounts give an almost identical explanation of how beings, of almost divine appearance, came down from the heavens and helped humanity develop. Just as the ancient gods assisted man during the 1st known culture of the world.