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According to some Watchtower literature, it is taught that Michael the Archangel is Jesus and that Jesus, after He ascended into heaven, resumed the name of Michael.

"It proves Michael the archangel is no other than the only begotten son of God, now Jesus Christ. The very name Michael means who is like God and indicates Jehovah God is without like or equal." (New Heavens and New Earth pg.30-31).

Jesus is actually the incarnation of Michael the Arch angel and resumed the name when he ascended into heaven ( ibid. pg.30 Your will be done on earth pg.316 )

Do Jehovah's Witnesses still believe this, and, if so, what is the biblical basis from which these teachings are derived?

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Not trying to rock the boat, but my name is Michael and I have always thought that it meant "Who is like God?" with a question mark. Significant meaning difference. –  fredsbend Feb 25 '13 at 16:35
Yes, they still believe it. No, I'm not sure I can explain why. (I've forgotten a lot since leaving.) –  TRiG Feb 25 '13 at 19:08
מי is no different than the English "who." While it can function as an interrogative pronoun, it can just as often function as a relative pronoun. Meaning, the question mark isn't always necessary. –  H3br3wHamm3r81 Feb 26 '13 at 7:57
Related, from a different perspective: Who do mainline Protestants believe an "archangel" (such as Michael) to be? –  Caleb Feb 26 '13 at 11:21

1 Answer 1

up vote 11 down vote accepted

Jehovah's Witnesses (JWs) take Daniel 10:13,21; 12:1 to equate Michael to Christ. They believe that since it refers to Michael as "one of the foremost princes", and,

"Michael will stand up, the great prince who is standing in behalf of the sons of your people."

They also interpret "stand up" to be mean "take control and reign as king." From their book Your Will Be Done On Earth,

"the Michael that stands up as the 'great prince' to fulfill Daniel 12:1 is the Lord Jesus Christ at God's right hand."

Additionally, they cite 1 Thessalonians 4:16,

"The Lord himself will descend from heaven with a commanding call, with an archangel's voice and with God's trumpet, and those who are dead in union with Christ will rise first."

They argue that it is the Lord Himself who issues forth the commanding call as the archangel, from Aid to Bible Understanding,

"Michael is the only one said to be the 'archangel', meaning 'chief angel' or 'principal angel'. The term occurs in the Bible only in the singular. This seems to imply that there is but one whom God has designated chief or head of the angelic host. At 1 Thessalonians 4:15 the voice of the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ is described as being that of an archangel, suggesting that he is, in fact, himself the archangel."

Because of this, they interpret Christ's identity, both pre-incarnation and post-incarnation, to be the archangel Michael.

Their book Reasoning From the Scriptures, under section 'Jesus Christ', and "Is Jesus Christ the same person as Michael the archangel?", cite the above as well, and also add:

"Revelation 12:7-12 says that Michael and his angels would war against Satan and hurl him and his wicked angels out of heaven in connection with the conferring of kingly authority on Christ. Jesus is latter depicted as leading the armies of heaven in war against the nations of the world. (Rev. 19:11-16) Is it not reasonable that Jesus would also be the one to take action against the one he described as "ruler of this world," Satan the Devil? (John 12:31) Daniel 12:1 associates the 'standing up of Michael' to act with authority with "a time of trouble, such as never has been since there was a nation till that time." That would certainly fit the experience of the nations when Christ as heavenly executioner takes action against them. So the evidence indicates that the Son of God was known as Michael before he came to earth and is known also by that name since his return to heaven where he resides as the glorified spirit Son of God."

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Awesome! Thanks for updating, I think that makes a much better fit in this community. I've purged comments on this since they were all now obsoleted. Also, I just asked a related question from a mainstream Protestant perspective if you'd like to weigh in on that one. –  Caleb Feb 26 '13 at 11:21

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