What the Bible Really Says about the Heavenly Host
Heiser’s book on angels is a thorough and enlightening resource on the topic of these celestial servants of the Lord. Much of the background of the book he goes through leans on his other works of The Unseen Realm and the Supernatural. But he goes into detail about angels from a supernatural point of view.
In chapter 1, the author presents all the terms used to describe the angels in the Bible. He separates them into groups based on names and functions. Each describes these heavenly beings in different ways. It is a complete list of every way they are referred to in the Bible, mostly in the Old Testament.
Chapter 2 goes into more detail about the functions of angels and more information about their abilities. Most scholars only write about the Angels as worshipers of God. But they have other functions in the Old Testament. He spends considerable time on the being in the divine council that says he will be a lying spirit against King Ahaz. It is clear from this chapter that angels had more roles than just worship. Heiser brings out some of these roles.
Chapter 3 discusses important angels. Of special interest to me was the discussion on the Angel of the Lord is a possible reference to the pre-incarnate Christ. The author backs up his conclusions with Scripture and extra biblical evidence from the time period. He also discusses the archangels like Michael, the supernatural princes mentioned in Daniel, and other important angels.
In chapters 4-5, the author discusses the language of second Temple Judaism referring to angels. This refers to the Old Testament apocryphal books like Enoch, which is where much angelology appears and is expanded in that time period. I’ve always had an interest in these books, and enjoyed this chapter that expounds on how angels appear there. These documents would have been widely read in the first century when the Bible was composed, and Judy and Peter quote from them.
Heiser devotes chapter 6-72 issues of angelology in the New Testament. He compares how angels are talked about their and how that relates to the Old Testament and second temple documents. I appreciate his research into all areas of biblical evidence for angels and how each relates to the other. The New Testament gives a fuller picture of angels, but in a different way than the Old Testament and the second temple apocrypha.
I especially enjoyed chapter 8 where the author answered questions related to myths and questions about angels. He asked people who have read The Unseen Realm what questions they have encountered about angels, and then proceeded to answer them. You will enjoy reading this final chapter of the book.
Michael Heiser once again fills the void of the scholarly world on the depth of angels after producing his book on The Unseen Realm. Since scholars have not talked about the supernatural in the Bible as much as they should, Heiser has filled that void. He has done his homework on this whole subject of the supernatural world of angels. I highly recommend reading all of Heiser’s work on the supernatural in the Bible. When you read this book on angels, it will give you a deep discussion that is not so far scholarly that it is an accessible to the Christian who is not well-versed in scholarship.