Years ago, a denominational doctrine taught me that Jesus was an archangel. It would seem that people are captivated by the mystery of Christ's preexistence so that they begin to read "between the lines" and find Jesus appearing subtly in the Old Testament. If there are any special appellation, it could (to them) be a reference to Jesus. After all if He were preexistent, He had to have some prominent role. This brings us up to the "carry over" idea that Jesus has resumed whatever role He had from the beginning. If Jesus was a special angel in the Old Testament, then the idea that "the" angel in Acts 5 and Acts 12 means that Jesus has continued His role as "the" special angel of God.
Unfortunately, for these mystery writers, there is no "the" angel in these passages.
The Greek texts have "angel" (ayyelos) without the article. In the Greek language there is no article equivalent to our "a" and "an". There is either the definite article "the" [e.g., ho] used or there is no article. In English we use "a" when "the" is not present. The Greek texts in both above passages do not have an article accompanying the word angelos. That would mean that the better translation would be "an" in English. Surprisingly, the ISV, KJV, Murdock, and Webster have the definite article inserted in Acts 5. In the second passage Acts 12 only the KJV and Webster have "the" inserted. All the other translations on my computer have "an" angel. This is not to condemn the KJV translators; they apparently did not put the same connotaton on "the" that some of us do.
The Greek texts reads, "ayyelos" [no article] (Acts 5:19) and "ayyelos" [again, no article] (Acts 12:8).
Since "angel" means "messenger", would that make Jesus an angel because He came from the Father with a message?
Indeed, Jesus' mission is the eternal "Logos" (John 1:1). Jesus is spokes-person (Strong's G3056) for the Godhead (Trinity) but this does not make Him an angelic entity.
Someone wrote online that Jesus was a "messenger", hence, angel, from the Father because He had a message for people from God. Having a message does not make one a heavenly being. Christians have a message from God but they are still humans. They will be "like" angels sexually in the resurrection but that doesn't make them these special beings (Matthew 22:30). In fact, being "like" predicates a difference. See Galatians 1:8.
The messenger would not have been Jesus because (1) Jesus is not an angel (Hebrews 1:4,5; 13,14); He's God, John 1:1 [contrary to Ellen G. White's teaching for the Adventists]; (2) He's at the right hand of God according to Stephen's vision (Acts 7:55; Acts 2:33); He speaks from Heaven (Acts 9:5); and He's one of the Three in Heaven (1 John 5:7); (3) we are waiting for Him to return from Heaven (1Thessalonians 1:10; Titus 2:13); (4) Jesus is always distinguished from the angels in Heaven: "rest with us, at the revelation of the Lord Jesus from heaven with the angels of His power" (1 Thessalonians 1:7); (5) Heaven is to receive Jesus until the "Restoration": "Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things" (Acts 3:21); (6) angels* are subject to their King: "Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels, and authorities, and powers being made subject unto him" (1 Peter 3:22).
*A king sends His messengers (angelos, ayyelos) such as David did in 2 Samuel 11:3. The word messengers is ayyelos. These were human angels (translated "messengers") whereas Jesus has Heavenly angels at His command. The context determines whether human or heavenly messengers are under consideration.
Since a person has to be "an" heavenly angel before being "the" heavenly angel, even if Acts 5 and 12 had "the" angel, Jesus could not be him.
- This subject continues as part 2 next week. - Gaylon