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According to Revelation 5:11, there are many:

11 Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. 12 In a loud voice they were saying:

“Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!”

  • Are there any doctrines that document/describ how many angels God would have?
  • Are they more than us?
  • If they are these many, why are there that many? Does it have to be in proportion to God's creations? Is it because of division of labour?
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It's probably like humans? How many are there? More than 7 billion now, but it's so variable that to print the answe at a moment in time is kinda useless. –  Affable Geek Jan 7 '13 at 12:19
    
Actually am not looking for a specific figure, just a range. More or lesser than humans? I know some defected, some were sent out of heaven and I don't think any want to defect again. I have a belief that they do not reproduce. –  tunmise fashipe Jan 7 '13 at 12:22
    
Innumerable. If you can count the stars, perhaps you can [begin] to count them ... –  FMS Aug 21 at 6:12

3 Answers 3

up vote 12 down vote accepted

None of the major branches do. All they say is that it is a large number, and most say that there are more than all humans who have ever existed:

A Protestant view: (Drawing from Scripture only)

While the Scriptures give no definite figures, we are told that the number of angels is very great (Daniel 7:10; Matthew 26:53; Hebrews 12:22).

It appears that all angels were created at one time. No new angels are being added to the number. Angels are not subject to death or any form of extinction; therefore they do not decrease in number.

It seems reasonable to conclude that there are at least as many spirit beings in existence as there will have been human beings in all their history on earth.

Author: Dr. Paul Eymann.

A Catholic view:

The number of the angels is frequently stated as prodigious (Daniel 7:10; Apocalypse 5:11; Psalm 67:18; Matthew 26:53). From the use of the word host (sabaoth) as a synonym for the heavenly army it is hard to resist the impression that the term "Lord of Hosts" refers to God's Supreme command of the angelic multitude (cf. Deuteronomy 33:2; 32:43; Septuagint). The Fathers see a reference to the relative numbers of men and angels in the parable of the hundred sheep (Luke 15:1-3), though this may seem fanciful. The Scholastics, again, following the treatise "De Coelesti Hierarchia" of St. Denis, regard the preponderance of numbers as a necessary perfection of the angelic host (cf. St. Thomas, Summa Theologica I:1:3).

An Orthodox view:

St. Cyril of Jerusalem writes: "Imagine how great in number is the Roman people, imagine how great in number are the other barbarian peoples that now exist, and how many must have died even! In a century, imagine how many have been buried in a thousand years, imagine all mankind, from Adam to the present day. Great is their multitude, but it is small in comparison with the angels, whose numbers are greater. They are the ninety-nine sheep, whereas the human race is the one lost sheep. By the greatness of a place one can judge the numbers of those who dwell in it. The earth we inhabit is a mere dot in the heavens, thus the heaven that surrounds it must have a much greater number of inhabitants. As is has greater space, the heavens of heavens hold their innumerable number. If it is written that 'a thousand thousands ministered unto Him, and ten thousands of myriads attended upon Him' this is only because the prophet could express no greater number." When the numbers of the angels are so great, it is natural to assume that in their world, as in the material: world, there are various degrees of perfections and therefore various ranks or a hierarchy of the heavenly powers. Thus Holy Scripture calls some angels and others archangels (I Thess. 4:16, Jude v. 9).

There are a great many teachings of the number of types or ranks of angels, but no serious writings about the population count.

Of course, there may be smaller groups within Christianity that try to pin a number on it, but most of Christianity would discount any such attempt the same way we'd discount all of the various attempts to set a date of the second coming. It wouldn't be accepted by Christianity as a whole.

The only exception I can think of - the only group within Christianity that puts an actual number to it is the group of "Christian Atheists" that discount all supernatural altogether. Those in that group probably put the number at zero. But that is a small group that does not represent any of the major denominations or teachings (nor do they believe in them except, perhaps, the moral ones they agree with).

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+1, I think this should be a template for how to properly answer a question of sort. –  Caleb Jan 7 '13 at 15:19
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We are the missing puzzle to complete the 99/100 - I like that. That brings another question to mind. It's like the angel were made for us - I mean to serve/attend to us? –  tunmise fashipe Jan 7 '13 at 21:24

"...behold a great red Dragon... And his tail drew the THIRD PART OF THE STARS OF HEAVEN, and did cast them to the earth..." (Rev.12:3-4).

assuming those stars to be angels. that means 1/3 of angels were cast out during the purge. I am a Catholic Christian from The Republic of India. we are outnumbered by Hindus by 40:1. I know some of their mythology pretty well. they have a guardian God or godess for each village, family, region likewise. it is said they have 333333333 devatas and devees ( well devatas and devees are demigods of different status). I am going to make a far fetched assumption here. considering these devees and devatas as to be those angels purged out. then the rest which remained faithful I.e 2/3 of heaven would amount to 666666666. adding these we get number 999999999. one angel is left out- Satan who caused the division. adding him we get the no. 1000000000: the total no of angels. that's the closest I could get. any yes these Hindu gods are somewhat similar to Egyptian ones. thanx for reading.

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TWELVE TRILLION! let me explain why.

God knew that for a long time mankind would not have a sophisticated enough number system to grasp the vastness of the Heavenly host so throughout the Bible His Holy Spirit inspires the metaphor "[like] stars in the sky" instead of a number. Today we know the number of stars in space is in the Trillions, - Trillions is the benchmark. Now cross reference with this:

Matthew 26:53 NCV "Surely you know I could ask my Father, and he would give me more than twelve armies of angels."

Some other translations say "legion of angels", but that's human commentary. Like 'many', "Legio" (from the word Lego) just means collection; NOT 1,000 as some wrongly assume. So Jesus never meant 12,000 but a mighty TWELVE TRILLION angels in His personal bodyguard.

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I don't think your conclusion follows from your reasoning. There's a pretty big, speculative gap. –  fredsbend Aug 21 at 9:13
    
No there isnt; I was being brief. Rev.12:3-4 suggests that Hell has half the number of angels that Heaven has. This cannot be in the billions or less because that would be just 6 billion demons. The current Human population is 7 billion! That would mean Satan wouldnt have enough demons to oppress humanity anymore, he would be 1 billion short. –  Elect-In-Training Aug 21 at 16:11
    
You speculation in the previous comment here is that 1) Demons are necessary to oppress humanity, 2) that one demon can only oppress one person, 3) and that all persons are currently oppressed. If you are going to calculate the minimum number of angles in this way then you first need to prove your givens (the three points above). The speculation in your answer, being entirely different than the previous comment, is that when Jesus said "legion" he meant a unit of 1 trillion. Okay, prove it. My understanding of the word legion is that it is a unit of 5000. –  fredsbend Aug 24 at 2:07

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