I'm clear that according to scripture, humans don't become angels. I read through the question on the topic (What Bible verses suggest that humans can become angels?) and didn't find an answer to my question:

Can anyone provide references to the reason that people began to believe that loved ones become angels? I'm trying to understand how this well-established tradition evolved in Western culture.


this might not truly answer your question. but it does shed some light about "us" becoming "like" angels.

Luke 12:25

For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage--"neither can they die any more" ( Luke 20:36 ). Marriage is ordained to perpetuate the human family; but as there will be no breaches by death in the future state, this ordinance will cease. but are as the angels which are in heaven--In Luke ( Luke 20:36 ) it is "equal unto the angels." But as the subject is death and resurrection, we are not warranted to extend the equality here taught beyond the one point--the immortality of their nature. A beautiful clause is added in Luke ( Luke 20:36 )--"and are the children of God"--not in respect of character, which is not here spoken of, but of nature--"being the children of the resurrection," as rising to an undecaying existence ( Romans 8:21 Romans 8:23 ), and so being the children of their Father's immortality ( 1 Timothy 6:16 ).

Bible Study Tools

I imagine that somewhere along the way that people saw this as they would become angels when they went to heaven. this doesn't say that at all. it really means equal unto the angels

this may be where we started thinking that we too could become Angels. but we really shouldn't want that. We as saved individuals will become physical/spiritual beings after the resurrection, the Angels are only spiritual beings.

I could not find much more information on the subject, I am at work so I am rather limited in my research time.

  • These are some good scriptures and give me ideas on where to look further (traditions around these verses). By the way, can you support "angels are only spiritual beings"? Not trying to be antagonistic. The Bible clearly shows angels in physical form performing actions (including in Revelation). – Padawan Learner Sep 13 '13 at 4:31
  • This is not good enough for an answer. You've made a claim without any evidence that anyone has ever legitimately used these verses to support the myth. – fгedsbend Feb 12 '15 at 22:42
  • let me do some more research on the issue @fredsbend thank you for calling me out, I had forgotten I had even answered this question and that it was left needing more explanation. – Malachi Feb 12 '15 at 23:17
  • This also means that we don't stay as we are now, as there is no reproduction in heaven. Reproduction is something unique that angels don't have and when we reach heaven we loose that ability (as there is no marriage). – One Face Feb 18 '15 at 13:50
  • your comment leaves the concept of marriage as something that might seem to others as a human concept. in the quote above, it says that "Marriage is ordained to perpetuate the human family; but as there will be no breaches by death in the future state, this ordinance will cease" this doesn't mean that marriages will be null and void, it means that there will be no need to marry. Marriage is such a large concept, that really portrays so much in terms of what God has in store for us, a comment will not do it justice. The Relationship with God is what we seek, that is what we get in Heaven. – Malachi Feb 18 '15 at 14:17

This is a very good question. It could be a confusion between sainthood and angels. As people on earth may attain sainthood and that would be like the Angels. Or it could have been mere wishful thinking in a time when death was very prevalent.

I do know that there are religions that specifically teach that men can become angels. But the one I'm thinking of would have been too modern to be the source.

In the early Christian church, there were many sets of scriptural books that were highly contested. One of them was of the apocrypha books. They speak about angels in a very unconventional sense. I haven't read them, but the blurbs for them certainly talk of a whole new way to look at angels and their origins.

But I think it might be due to a mistranslation. You see Angel actually comes from a word that means messenger and, in particular, a messenger from God. These were often human agents i.e. prophets. (http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Judaism/angels.html) is the Jewish view of angels and really if you want to look at the true origins of angels the Jews were the first to talk about the 'Christian' angel.

I do wonder if the answer to this question actually exists or whether it is lost in time.

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