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John 4:24 (KJV) God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

The Gospel of John tells us that God is a Spirit. What about the angels? According to the Bible, what are angels? Are they also spirits or something else?

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Both NIV and NASB lack the non-definitive article 'a'; they simply say "God is spirit" with the NASB giving a note "or Spirit". I think if you focus your question more on the text and what it means you will get more meaningful answers on the hermeneutics site. Or maybe I am having trouble understanding your question. – fredsbend Aug 30 '13 at 6:55
To me, saying "a spirit" implies an individual kind of thing. Saying only "spirit" implies a description of being. It is the difference between definitions 1 and 4 found here. – fredsbend Aug 30 '13 at 7:09
@fredsbend The question is actually not on God, but on angels. With the knowledge that God is spirit, and since angels are not human, it simply assumes that angels might also be spirits. – Mawia Aug 30 '13 at 7:13
Well, the differences in these translations leaves me confused. I'm eager to see what answers you get. Perhaps I will post on hermeneutics to get to the bottom of that. – fredsbend Aug 30 '13 at 7:16
Psalm 104:4 is interesting. It is quoted in Hebrews. – fredsbend Aug 30 '13 at 7:31
up vote 5 down vote accepted

Hebrews 1 has the answer to "Are they spirits?"

7: And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire.

13: But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool? 14 Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?


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+1 Very simple and short answer. – Simply a Christian Nov 24 '13 at 22:27

When Abraham's servant went to find a wife for Isaac (Gen 24), he had angelic influence (no mention of the angel physically accompanying him). The angels who came to escort Lot and his family out of town were corporeal as they ate dinner (Gen 19:3). In Matthew 2:13, an angel appears to Joseph in a dream. However, an angel was able to physically kick Peter in the side to wake him up (Acts 12:7). The author of Hebrews says we may entertain angels (13:2) which suggests a physical form.

It would seem angels have the ability to assume both corporeal and non corporeal forms as they see fit, suggesting they have both physical and spirit attributes.

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