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I'm in a discussion as to whether or not angels will teach us to sing. A song we sing states that angels will teach us to sing. I say that we, as Christians, sing a song that the Angels cannot sing.

Is there a Biblical basis for the song's assertion that not only can the angels sing but they will teach us? Or, conversely, does the Bible imply that I'm right?

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closed as off-topic by David Stratton, James T, Dan, Bye, Narnian Mar 18 at 17:27

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

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Welcome to the site! As a new visitor, I'd recommend checking out the following two posts, which are meant to help newcomers "learn the ropes": help page and How we are different than other sites?. As it stands, this question really isn't a good fit for the site. It would be better on a discussion forum. –  David Stratton Mar 8 at 1:11
    
As David Stratton already has pointed out, we can't handle the truth. –  Anonymous Mar 8 at 3:50
    
But it would seem straightforward to make it on-topic by explicitly stating the implied question. –  Andrew Leach Mar 8 at 12:51
1  
Any Angel (or anyone else) trying to teach me to sing is going to have a full time job, and they also need time and a half for overtime. –  Bye Mar 8 at 20:17
    
@Cecil But you will be changed, in the twinkling of eye. The hereafter is nothing like the here. So you may well have the voice of an angel! –  Andrew Leach Mar 8 at 21:01

2 Answers 2

First, it is not clear to me that angels sing. Many Christians assume they do, but I'm not so sure.

Take the Christmas story in which an angel of the Lord breaks the news to the shepherds that a Savior was just born in Bethelehem (the city of David). Immediately after that announcement,

". . . there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavely host praising God and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased'" (Luke 2:13-14).

Notice the text does not say the angels sang; rather, they praised God and said. Several Christmas carols refer to singing angels, such as

"Angels we have heard on high, sweetly singing o'er the plains, And the mountains in reply echo back their joyous strains."

"Hark, the herald angels sing, Glory to the newborn king."

Again, however, the Bible does not clearly and unequivocally state that angels do, in fact, sing.

In Revelation chapter 5 we read:

". . . the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song: 'You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth'" (vv.8-10, my emphasis).

Obviously, there will be singing in heaven (and almost certainly already is), but the angels evidently do not sing. Later in Revelation chapter 5, we read,

"Then I [John] looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders; and the number of them was myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, 'Worthy is the Lamb that was slain . . .'" (vv.11-12 NASB Updated Edition).

A few Bible versions have the angels singing (e.g., GWT, GNT, NIV, NLT, The Message, and Tyndale), but most do not.

Perhaps as you suggest, the angels may never sing, because they will never be able to

"sing the song of the soul set free" (This is a partial lyric from an anthem I remember from my youth.)

In other words, only those who have been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb are ready, willing, and able to sing, since they, unlike the angels, have been forgiven of all their sins. The holy angels will join (and most certainly have already have joined) the celebration in heaven one day, but only redeemed men and woman, boys and girls, will have a ready song on their lips for all eternity.

In conclusion, I Peter 1:12 we read:

"It was revealed to [the prophets] that they were not serving themselves, but you, in these things which now have been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven--things into which angels long to look."

Evidently, the holy angels are a bit curious about the gospel message and all that was entailed in making the good news available to sinners who repent and believe. Yes, they have gladly praised God for millennia and will continue to do so for all eternity, but they are evidently puzzled about what God's salvation is all about! Only the saints of God have experienced the mercy, love, and grace of God.

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Don't you realize that this question is a truth question and therefore is off-topic for this website? I wouldn't answer the question, if I were you, seeing that this question is likely going to get closed for being a truth question. Just a head's up. :) –  Anonymous Mar 8 at 3:52
    
@Anonymous: Thanks for the heads up. I'll let my answer stand, mostly because it's quite well supported by Scripture. As far as "truth questions" go, I'm still more than a little mystified (and probably always will be) as to what that means. Frankly, if an answerer establishes a prima facie case as to why his or her answer is biblically based and is consistently so, hermeneutically, I say "Hey: go for it!" –  rhetorician Mar 8 at 7:54

The philosopher Mortimer Adler who converted to Christianity at the end of his life and was inspired by the Thomistic tradition, wrote intellegently and eloquently on what he called 'The Great Idea of Angel'. It proved to be the most popular of his 'Great Ideas' series. The book's outline is available on line here. Both book and a DVD of an interview with him about the subject are available from The Great Ideas website.

Adler's view was that angels were disembodied intellects, capable of assuming human form, but whose nature was separate from it. If they do communicate, he argues, they would necessarily do so telepathically.

I suggest you do some reading of the thoughts of some of the great thinkers he references on the subject, including one of the most influential works on the nature of angels apart from the Bible which has been influential in the development of the way in which angels are depicted and thought about in Western society, Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite's 'On the Celestial Hierarchy', so you can achieve a greater understanding and clarity for yourself on how you define the idea of 'Angel'.

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