angels or gods

Early anti-Christian Platonist Porphyry argues that Christians do not much differ from the pagans who believe in many gods because Christians believe in angels. As God rules over the angels, the pagans hold to a similar hierarchy. Porphyry does not understand the Christian fuss about one true God.

But let us make a thorough investigation concerning the single rule of the only God and the manifold rule of those who are worshipped as gods. You do not know how to expound the doctrine even of the single rule. For a monarch is not one who is alone in his existence, but who is alone in his rule. Clearly he rules over those who are his fellow-tribesmen, men like himself, just as the Emperor Hadrian was a monarch, not because he existed alone, nor because he ruled over oxen and sheep (over which herdsmen or shepherds rule), but because he ruled over men who shared his race and possessed the same nature. Likewise God would not properly be called a monarch, unless He ruled over other gods; for this would befit His divine greatness and His heavenly and abundant honour.

At any rate, if you say that angels stand before God, who are not subject to feeling and death, and immortal in their nature, whom we ourselves speak of as gods, because they are close to the Godhead, why do we dispute about a name? And are we to consider it only a difference of nomenclature? For she who is called by the Greeks Athene is called by the Romans Minerva; and the Egyptians, Syrians, and Thracians address her by some other name. But I suppose nothing in the invocation of the goddess is changed or lost by the difference of the names. The difference therefore is not great, whether a man calls them gods or angels, since their divine nature bears witness to them, as when Matthew writes thus: “And Jesus answered and said, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God; for in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels in heaven” (Matt. xxii. 29-30).

About christopher fisher

The blog is meant for educational/entertainment purposes. All material can be used and reproduced in any length for any purpose as long as I am cited as the source.
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5 Responses to angels or gods

  1. Tom Torbeyns says:

    So actually our friend Porphyry was a mormon believing that we can become Gods?

  2. truescience7 says:

    Have you ever seen the work of Michael Heiser on the Divine Council?

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