The Guéranger Blog

Welcome to the Gueranger Blog! You have stumbled across the notebook I use to record my thoughts as I read through Dom Prosper Gueranger's 15-volume set, The Liturgical Year. I do not have any special expertise in liturgy, but I have some general knowledge of Catholic theology and an enthusiasm for Gueranger's magnum opus. Think of it as the Liturgical Year fan site!

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Michael says, "Who is like Jesus?"

Canisius | 12 May, 2006 19:41

One of the many peculiar beliefs of the Jehovah’s Witnesses is that Michael the Archangel is the same person as Jesus Christ. He was an angel before the Incarnation, they say, and turned back into an angel after the crucifixion. He was (is) the most exalted of the angels, but only an angel.

As an argument in favor of this odd idea, which is so hard to support from Scripture, they will point out that the word “Archangel” only occurs in the singular in Scripture, and is applied only to Michael: from this they would conclude that there is only one Archangel. This way they can say that Michael is the most exalted of angels, to help in their effort to identify him with Jesus.

Here’s an odd fact to put in your back pocket in case you need to speak with these folks. When Jude 1:9 describes Michael the Archangel disputing with Satan over Moses’ body, it is in fact a reference to the apocryphal Book of Enoch. If we go and look at the book of Enoch to see what Jude may have had in mind, we find multiple archangels mentioned! (Jewish tradition lists seven, I believe.)

That’s enough to throw them off balance, since they probably will never have heard of the Book of Enoch and will find it extremely odd that Scripture cites this spurious work. But you can also point out that “archangel” is a Greek word, and so of course does not occur in their (Hebrew) Old Testament! If we look at the Greek Old Testament, Dan 10:13 says that Michael is “one of the archon”: Michael the angel is one of a number of angels who are archons, i.e., an archon angelon. There you have it: multiple archangels!


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