ANGELO of Rev 2:1

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ANGELO of Rev 2:1

Postby Joe Rutherford » August 26th, 2012, 6:47 pm

I plan to get set up for unicode as soon as possible, but if I may for now try transliteration, I'd like to ask the following. In Revelation 2:1, part of verse 1 reads: TO ANGELO TES EKKLESIAS EN EPHESO GRAPSON. The same construction occurs six more times total in Chapters 2 and 3, the only difference being the name of the town of each Church addressed. There are of course several ideals as to who the ANGELO of each EKKLESIAS is. I understand each angel simply to be John. Do you think that conclusion is even possible based soley upon the greek?
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Re: ANGELO of Rev 2:1

Postby Barry Hofstetter » August 27th, 2012, 1:58 am

Τῷ ἀγγέλῳ τῆς ἐν Ἐφέσῳ ἐκκλησίας γράψον

If John is the angel, why is he being instructed to write to that angel? I think most likely, ἀγγελος refers to the pastor of each church, but I see nothing in the Greek which would specify it more than it is.
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Re: ANGELO of Rev 2:1

Postby Jason Hare » August 27th, 2012, 3:20 am

Hi, Joe.

Joe Rutherford wrote:I plan to get set up for unicode as soon as possible, but if I may for now try transliteration, I'd like to ask the following.


Even if you use transliteration, you must distinguish between Ω (omega) and Ο (omicron). We tend to use W to represent Ω because of its similarity to the shape of the small omega (ω). Then, we use O to represent Ο.

It's also the practice of those who do not (yet) use Unicode to include a small i to represent the iota subscript (ῳ). Thus, we would transliterate τῷ ἀγγέλῳ as TWi AGGELWi (notice that G represents Γ even though it is "gamma nasal").

It's accepted practice to use a modified form of Beta Code to represent Greek when not typing in Unicode. You can find the specifics here on the B-Greek site.

By the way, if you're running Windows, setting up the Polytonic Greek Keyboard is a matter of two minutes. Learning to type in Greek will take more work.

Joe Rutherford wrote:In Revelation 2:1, part of verse 1 reads: TO ANGELO TES EKKLESIAS EN EPHESO GRAPSON. The same construction occurs six more times total in Chapters 2 and 3, the only difference being the name of the town of each Church addressed. There are of course several ideals as to who the ANGELO of each EKKLESIAS is. I understand each angel simply to be John. Do you think that conclusion is even possible based soley upon the greek?


I agree with Barry above. It doesn't make sense to me that someone would tell another person to write a letter to himself. It is the custom of the Revelation to word everything in spiritual (non-literal) ways, and I think this is exactly what's happening here. The messenger (ἄγγελος) of the assembly (ἐκκλησία) is the one that is supposed to deliver the message (ἀγγελία) to the people. If it is not the modern idea of "pastor," then it is some person who was responsible for delivering messages to a given church. I'm not aware of any fixed system in the early church, so it might not be a different person each time a message is to be delivered, but I don't think the messenger was as important as the content of the letters. John was really addressing specific congregations with these letters, not an individual person as representative of the group.
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Re: ANGELO of Rev 2:1

Postby Joe Rutherford » August 27th, 2012, 4:21 pm

Thanks for the tutorial guidance. :) I've just began to study a couple of basic greek grammers and the subject of basic sentence structure. I've also read the "things greek teachers will not tell you", posted at this site. One statement was that you need more than the greek, the greek can only limit possibilities. So in consideration of a statement of the text of Rev 2:1, does greek grammer absolutly rule out the possibility that John is the angel of each Church?

So the action of the statement is to write. Who is to write? John is to write. But God does not say, "John, write to the Church at...". Is John being told to write to an angel, or is John being identified as the angel to whom God is speaking, then (John) being ordered to write.

So I thought this might be a good exercise in exploring the possibilities of the greek grammar. Thanks again for the suggestions.
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Re: ANGELO of Rev 2:1

Postby George F Somsel » August 28th, 2012, 1:38 am

It seems to be a tendency to understand ἄγγελος in the first chapters of the Apocalypse as angel, but the word is used simply of messengers as well. In Lk 7.24 it speaks of messengers from John the Baptist

Ἀπελθόντων δὲ τῶν ἀγγέλων Ἰωάννου ἤρξατο λέγειν πρὸς τοὺς ὄχλους περὶ Ἰωάννου·


I would agree with Barry that in Re 1-3 it probably refers to the bishops of the seven churches though this is not something which can be proven by reference to the Greek. I simply can't see writing a letter to an angel or to seek repentance from one.

μνημόνευε οὖν πόθεν πέπτωκας καὶ μετανόησον καὶ τὰ πρῶτα ἔργα ποίησον· εἰ δὲ μή, ἔρχομαί σοι καὶ κινήσω τὴν λυχνίαν σου ἐκ τοῦ τόπου αὐτῆς, ἐὰν μὴ μετανοήσῃς.


Re 2.5

Here it would seem that the angel/messenger/bishop is threatened with defrocking.

One is, however, free to disagree.
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Re: ANGELO of Rev 2:1

Postby Barry Hofstetter » August 29th, 2012, 9:21 am

Joe Rutherford wrote:Thanks for the tutorial guidance. :) I've just began to study a couple of basic greek grammers and the subject of basic sentence structure. I've also read the "things greek teachers will not tell you", posted at this site. One statement was that you need more than the greek, the greek can only limit possibilities. So in consideration of a statement of the text of Rev 2:1, does greek grammer absolutly rule out the possibility that John is the angel of each Church?

So the action of the statement is to write. Who is to write? John is to write. But God does not say, "John, write to the Church at...". Is John being told to write to an angel, or is John being identified as the angel to whom God is speaking, then (John) being ordered to write.

So I thought this might be a good exercise in exploring the possibilities of the greek grammar. Thanks again for the suggestions.


Greetings again, Joe, glad that you are off to a good start. Many of us began our study of Greek wanting to answer specific questions from the GNT and found ourselves getting a whole more than we bargained, and finding it good. Context and common sense does indicate the individual to whom John is to write is different from John himself. Also, if John wanted to make it perfectly clear that he was the ἄγγελος then I think he would have written something quite different, such as ὡς ὁ ἄγγελος πρὸς τὴν ἐν Ἐφέσῳ ἐκκλησίαν γράψον… In other words, there is something in the Greek that does exclude John, and that is the fact that τῷ ἀγγέλῳ is in the dative case as the indirect object, and so cannot be identified with the subject without either a change in construction or the addition of a reflexive pronoun. Think about it -- why would Jesus command him to write to himself? He might appoint him or send him as a messenger, but that would change the wording.

The more Greek you get under your belt, the more easily such questions will resolve themselves. In the meantime, we'll help as much as we can.
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Re: ANGELO of Rev 2:1

Postby Mark Lightman » August 29th, 2012, 2:28 pm

Think about it -- why would Jesus command him to write to himself?


(ἀνα)γνῶθι σεαυτόν? :)
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Re: ANGELO of Rev 2:1

Postby Jason Hare » August 29th, 2012, 8:21 pm

Mark Lightman wrote:
Think about it -- why would Jesus command him to write to himself?


(ἀνα)γνῶθι σεαυτόν? :)


Very funny, Mark!
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Re: ANGELO of Rev 2:1

Postby Joe Rutherford » September 3rd, 2012, 1:33 am

There is a misunderstanding here. I am not saying or have ever said, that John is being told to write a letter to himself :!: There are 7 Spirits, but 1 Spirit. There are 7 Churches and all part of the 1 Church. There are 7 angels, but 1 angel. So the one Spirit speaks to each of the seven Churches and in real time He is speaking to John. The Spirit is designating John as the angel of each Church just before giving John the message for each Church. The Spirit is not telling John to write to himself. The Spirit is designating John as the angel to each Church, then the Spirit is telling John to write. Then the Spirit speaks the message for each Church. Thus John is the angel to each of the 7 Churches though he is 1 angel. The Spirit speaks to each of the 7 Churches though He is 1 Spirit.

Most read these scriptures as if John is being told to write to the angel of each Church, while all along God was addressing John as the angel of each Church. That is what I'm trying to say. Sorry I can't express that in a more greekish way at this time. I'm well aware that many commentators believe John is being told to write to the angel of each Church. That is the most traditional understanding. But I truely believe there has been a very foundational error. This may seem far-out-there-ishis, but given the nature of the book of the Revelation, I do not consider my point to be out of context.
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Re: ANGELO of Rev 2:1

Postby Stephen Carlson » September 3rd, 2012, 7:19 am

This is not really a question about the Greek, however.
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