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The Dilemma of Angelic Addresses in Revelation 2–3

Ryan James Harty
Independent Linguist
Translation Specialist
Pioneer Bible Translators
Papua New Guinea


The letters to the seven churches in Revelation 2–3 are addressed to the churches’ respective angels. However, research into their identity or symbolic meaning has lacked clarity. The angels have been co-opted to support church hierarchy, guardian angels, church history epochs, or to take polemical jabs at the Greco-Roman gods. This article proposes that the angels point to the churches' heavenly identity, their heavenly ontology, and their continual existential presence before the throne of God. John’s Apocalypse is meant to pull back the veil on true reality, and the angels of the churches are an important piece of this unveiling. Rather than distractions of misfit epistolary genre, they are robust symbols meant to encourage a pressured first-century church.

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Volume 26 Issue 1

Current Issue:
VOLUME 26, No. 1
Spring 2023



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