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Summary of the question: How can the "angel of the Lord" be the pre-incarnate Jesus if Hebrews 1:5 makes the point that God never said "Thou art my Son" to any angel? Those who believe Michael the archangel is Jesus (JW, SDA, and others) usually get Hebrews 1:5 quoted by those who don't share their belief about Michael in an effort to disprove their belief. But what about those who believe the angel of the Lord is the pre-incarnate Jesus? Doesn't the same verse disprove that belief?

This is a fairly widely accepted stance, in my opinion. We even have the following question with good answers on this very site: On what basis do some Protestants believe the angel of the Lord is the pre-incarnate Jesus Christ?

However, some groups like Jehovah's Witnesses (due to the belief that Jesus is Michael the Archangel) have to respond to questions like this one: Don't the questions of Hebrews 1:5 and 1:13 demand an answer of 'None'? So how can Jehovah's Witnesses say that Jesus is the archangel Michael?

How would a Protestant who believes the angel of the Lord is the pre-incarnate Jesus (or any Christian who believes this) respond to a very similar question?

If one believes that the angel of the Lord was the pre-incarnate Jesus, how can that be reconciled with Hebrews 1:5 (KJV):

For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?

I've heard some explain this by saying that the angel of the Lord was not a created angel so that excludes him from the context of "the angels" in this passage. However, the verse doesn't say, "For unto which of the created angels said he at any time"...

Of course, the basic meaning of "angel" in both the Hebrew and Greek is "messenger". But that doesn't really change the meaning of the passage either. I'm curious how this could be answered satisfactorily.

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    The 'messenger' can be either the uncreated Deity himself or the 'messenger' can be a created spirit-being. In Malachi 3 the 'Messenger' of the Covenant is 'the Lord himself'. I don't see why you have a problem myself. In the Old Testament, manifestations of the yet to be revealed Son are of an angelic kind. When he is manifested in humanity, he reveals the Father by his own Sonship.
    – Nigel J
    Commented Mar 10 at 0:44
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    Looks like that could be the start of a good answer. I wouldn't include the, "I don't see why you have a problem myself" bit, though lol. I never said it was a problem. And even if it were a problem for me, saying it's not a problem for you doesn't resolve anything. Commented Mar 10 at 1:02
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    @Aleph-Gimel It appears to me that you are reading something into the verse which is known as "eisegesis." The purpose of Hebrews 1:5 is to show the superiority of Jesus Christ over the angels. To me the words of the verse, "For to which of the angels did He ever say etc. Is "rhetorical, " meaning to make a point rather than get an answer. Now, it would be nice if you would answer or post your own answer to you own question below so I/we can understand your point?
    – Mr. Bond
    Commented Mar 10 at 18:35
  • Sorry about this - I thought it was a simple question but I'll try to rephrase it when I get a chance. Commented Mar 10 at 21:47
  • OK I tried to update this question to simplify it - hope it makes sense... Commented Mar 11 at 16:49

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I have already answered this in another question like this.

Angel can be a linguistic characteristic of the uncreated Logos or Metatron (men have also been called gods Ps 82:6) and it can also be a technical classification of the created heavenly beings, as we see in the Pauline text where he separates the Son of God with all created beings, presenting him as the source of all creation.

Regardless of your interpretation of Heb 1:5, it doesn't entail that Jesus was a created angel.

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  • Thanks for that, I do appreciate it. And, yes, I recall seeing your response on the other question. I was hoping for a better explanation than something like, "Jesus wasn't a created angel" as seen in the original question. You gave some more Info, though, so that's nice. SDA understand Michael as Jesus but uncreated...so that would fit it with your answer here? Commented Mar 12 at 23:35
  • Yes. If they see him a separate eternal God.
    – Michael16
    Commented Mar 13 at 2:55
  • One thing to remember is that there will be minor differences in beliefs even from the scripture authors, this is why some might describe the messiah as Michael or Michael as metatrone. Others may explicitly exclude the Messiah or Metatron from a designated archangle like Michael. From Paul's authentic and systematic teachings we know the details that we shouldn't count Jesus or the Son as any angel, but that he is one with God. If you have more questions on this then ask.
    – Michael16
    Commented Mar 13 at 10:39
  • Right so it's a bit less strict than I was reading it previously. Before, my mind was telling me that the angel of the Lord wasn't an angel at all...in any sense, because of Heb 1:5. For what it's worth, these questions are of interest to me but aren't of great salvific importance imo. I'll accept your answer. Commented Mar 13 at 13:28
  • Maybe this would have been a better question for the hermeneutics SE now that I think about it. Commented Mar 13 at 13:30
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This is what you stated: "For what it's worth, these questions are of interest to me but aren't of great salvific importance imo." You could not be more wrong.

If Jesus Christ is also Michael the arc angel then according to the Apostle Paul you have a different Jesus. 2 Corinthians 11:4, "For if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you might go along with it."

Here is what the Apostle Paul states at Galatians 1:6-9. "I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel. Vs7, which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you, and want to distort the gospel of Christ. Vs8, But even though we, or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to that which we have preached to you, let him be accursed. Vs9, As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to that which you have received, let him be accursed.

I have to say Few Against Many-Israel, this is so important that the Apostle Paul thought it necessary to repeat himself. Why? Because it has eternal consequences. You can't just go around saying things like you did (whatever the topic might be) and act or say, "it's not that important."

This is not kids stuff, your in the big leagues now and if you state a position or opinion you have to prove your position. Read Acts 17:11. Before you ask a question do your own research/homework on it first. This is one way to learn.

Now, getting back to this idea that Michael the arc angel is Jesus Christ. This is a "fallacy" known as a "category" error. In other words, you comparing "titles" with ontological beings. This is a branch of metaphysics dealing with the nature of being. All angels by definition are spiritual beings ontologically speaking.

Jesus Christ on the other hand and ontologically speaking is God by nature. ALL begotten sons, BY DEFINITION, bear the distinguishing nature of their own Fathers, hence, John 3:16. It's a universal law that all sons bear the nature of its father.

Also, Jesus was sent into the world. John 6:38, "I cam down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of Him that SENT ME." John 3:13, "And no one has ascended into heaven, but He who descended from heaven, even the Son of Man." John 4:34, "My food is to do the will of Him WHO SENT ME, and to accomplish His work." In order for someone to be sent, you have to have preexisted.

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  • With all due respect, you didn't answer the question (so I had to downvote). I think you are also confusing me with a user called Few Against Many - Israel. For what it's worth, telling people that they're wrong isn't a great way to get your point across. Do you think one has to correctly identify the angel of the Lord to gain salvation? Commented Mar 16 at 15:18
  • @Aleph-Gimel I did answer your question even after you made an adjustment. There is nothing wrong telling someone their wrong. Jesus corrected others all the time. Paul did the same as well, read 2 Timothy 2:15-19 as an example. Also Romans 16:17, James 5:19, 2 Timothy 4:2 and others. So yes, (in my opinion) if one incorrectly identifies the angel of the Lord as Michael the arc angel or some other being you have a different Jesus. In the world of "apologetics" there are people who honestly may misunderstand and there are those who are close minded no matter what! "The Lord knows who are His."
    – Mr. Bond
    Commented Mar 16 at 17:48
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    Of course there's nothing wrong with correction...it's an absolute part of being a human. However, what I said was that telling people they're wrong isn't the best way to get your point across. Especially on this site. Anyways, my question here has nothing to do with Michael- I just pulled that in for reference. So, read the question again and try to answer it. Commented Mar 17 at 1:06
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The association of Jesus with the Angel of the Lord has to do with the fact that the Angel of the Lord is the one who names himself “I AM” on the mountain (Exodus 3:2, 14). It was the Angel of the Lord who appeared in the burning bush (Exodus 3:2). It was the Angel of the Lord who announced the birth of Samson, after which his parents realized that they had seen God (Judges 13:3, 22).

Then there’s Isaiah 63:8-9

For he said, Surely they are my people, children that will not lie: so he was their Saviour. In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old.

So it’s important to recognize that the Angel of the Lord is a physical manifestation of God on earth. It is the “Angel of his presence.”

Given that standard Christian theology is that Jesus is God in the flesh, previous incarnations of a physical being recognized as God are therefore considered to be the same, if in a more dramatic form. In theology, they refer to these appearances of the Metatron (as he is called in Roman Catholic theology) as Christophanies.

Hope this suffices.

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Jesus is God's begotten son. Now let's check where in the Bible that verse can be found.

John 3:16

For God so loved the world that he sent his one and only begotten son..

Now let's check what the dictionary says about begotten

Begotten

Bring Into Existence

This means at some point God was responsible for bringing Jesus into existence otherwise God wouldn't be a father to Jesus if God wasn't responsible for his existence somehow.

And would Jesus call God Father if God didn't cause his existence?

Jesus called God Father in the Lord's prayer

Jesus called God Father when he commanded his disciples not to call anyone Father on earth

Jesus called God Father while he was on the cross dying.

Father-Son relationship between God and Jesus means they are a Spiritual Family and The Father begat the Son

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  • Apparently your not aware that "only begotten" does not necessarily mean "Bring into existence." When I take about the angel of the Lord at Genesis 22:12, "And he said do not stretch your hand against the lad, and do nothing to him, for now I know you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, YOUR ONLY SON FROM ME." Please explain how it is that Abraham already had a son named Ismael by Hagar. Hebrews 11:17, By faith Abraham offered up Isaac, and he who received the promise was offering up HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON.. referring to Jesus Christ as the one and only begotten Son. John 3:16.
    – Mr. Bond
    Commented Apr 5 at 13:53
  • @Mr.Bond, Apparently trinitarians downvoted this answer because they over reason and over obsess over the identity of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, I choose to believe what Jesus himself said that the father is greater than him and there is also a possibility that Jesus is the arch-angel Michael from all the references about the second coming of Jesus in the book of Daniel. I would not be so sure if I was a trinitarian Commented Apr 5 at 13:58
  • Just stop! This has nothing to do with trinitarians like everything is their fault. It has to do with who is Jesus Christ. Your welcome to your opinion as to what you believe but you still have to reconcile your view with the verses I gave you regarding what the word "begotten" means in context. I just proved that it does not always mean first born or created. And why bring up the angel of the Lord when we are specifically speaking about "begotten." And of course God is greater than Jesus Christ because God became a man. John 1:14 and read Philippians 2:5-10 which explains him becoming man.
    – Mr. Bond
    Commented Apr 5 at 14:08
  • @MrBond, if God became a man then why is Jesus a separate and unique person like you and me? God is God and Jesus is Jesus.. How can God Jesus not know his second coming but the Father if Jesus is God? The writing is on the wall Commented Apr 5 at 14:11
  • @MrBond, I am a unitarian and believe God is One, even the Holy Spirit being a separate and unique individual from The Father can search the secrets of God and know when the second coming will take place but why Jesus who is a God to trinitarians forbidden from accessing that knowledge? Commented Apr 5 at 14:15

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