Michael the Archangel, Jude, and Zechariah

Status
Not open for further replies.

TryingToLearn

Puritan Board Freshman
So, I'm drawn the the interpretation that Jude is alluding back to Zechariah and thus identifies Michael the Archangel as the pre-incarnate Angel of the Lord, but I see two problems that I'm wondering if you guys would be able to possibly help me with to see if this interpretation can work.

First of all, the interpretation has to understand "the body of Moses" as referring to the priesthood/Israel (cf. "the body of Christ") to fit Zechariah's context, but I have no idea if this term was used in this way back in Jude's time. The fact that the early church fathers took the phrase to refer to Moses' literal body from a now-lost ending of "The Assumption of Moses" seems to argue against this being a common phrase that Jude's readers would have understood.

Second of all, Michael is referred to as "one of the chief princes" in Daniel 10:13. This would seem to put Jesus in a high rank, yet still equal to a few other "chief princes". Is this translated correctly? And would this not be decisive in excluding Jesus as a possible identification of Michael?
 

Contra_Mundum

Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger
Staff member
In Daniel 10:13, there is a possibility of translating the term ordinally, that is as "first" rather than "one [of];" thus, "Michael, first of the chief princes." This would set him above all others, even them of first rank. This would fit with his title as THE Angel of the Lord. We properly read into that designation of "angel" a qualitative distinction from ordinary angels. Even so, this "Michael" could well be treated similarly.

Until the rise of the JW movement and its claims, identifying Michael and the pre-incarnate Son was fairly common. Calvin & M.Henry (among others) are familiar names of older commentators who take that view.
 

TryingToLearn

Puritan Board Freshman
In Daniel 10:13, there is a possibility of translating the term ordinally, that is as "first" rather than "one [of];" thus, "Michael, first of the chief princes." This would set him above all others, even them of first rank. This would fit with his title as THE Angel of the Lord. We properly read into that designation of "angel" a qualitative distinction from ordinary angels. Even so, this "Michael" could well be treated similarly.

Until the rise of the JW movement and its claims, identifying Michael and the pre-incarnate Son was fairly common. Calvin & M.Henry (among others) are familiar names of older commentators who take that view.
Thanks! That's really helpful. I'd definitely opt for this interpretation, but it still seems to me "the body of Moses" needs to proven as referring to the priesthood (unless Jude had something totally different in mind altogether that still fits Zechariah's context).
 

Schoolman

Puritan Board Freshman
Until the rise of the JW movement and its claims, identifying Michael and the pre-incarnate Son was fairly common. Calvin & M.Henry (among others) are familiar names of older commentators who take that view.
“By Michael many agree in understanding Christ as the head of the Church. But if it seems better to understand Michael as the archangel, this sense will prove suitable, for under Christ as the head, angels are the guardians of the Church. Whichever be the true meaning, God was the preserver of his Church by the hand of his only-begotten Son, and because the angels are under the government of Christ, he might entrust this duty to Michael.” Calvin, Commentary, Daniel 12:1.

Is this what you mean? However, I believe Calvin is saying that Christ and the archangel are separate beings.
 

SeanPatrickCornell

Puritan Board Sophomore
“By Michael many agree in understanding Christ as the head of the Church. But if it seems better to understand Michael as the archangel, this sense will prove suitable, for under Christ as the head, angels are the guardians of the Church. Whichever be the true meaning, God was the preserver of his Church by the hand of his only-begotten Son, and because the angels are under the government of Christ, he might entrust this duty to Michael.” Calvin, Commentary, Daniel 12:1.

Is this what you mean? However, I believe Calvin is saying that Christ and the archangel are separate beings.

Seems that way but he's at least acknowledging that Michael = Christ is a (relatively) common interpretation and that it's not a scandalous view to hold.
 

Contra_Mundum

Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger
Staff member
“By Michael many agree in understanding Christ as the head of the Church. But if it seems better to understand Michael as the archangel, this sense will prove suitable, for under Christ as the head, angels are the guardians of the Church. Whichever be the true meaning, God was the preserver of his Church by the hand of his only-begotten Son, and because the angels are under the government of Christ, he might entrust this duty to Michael.” Calvin, Commentary, Daniel 12:1.

Is this what you mean? However, I believe Calvin is saying that Christ and the archangel are separate beings.
"Some think the word Michael represents Christ, and I do not object to this opinion. Clearly enough, if all angels keep watch over the faithful and elect, still Christ holds the first rank among them, because he is their head, and uses their ministry and assistance to defend all his people. But as this is not generally admitted, I leave it in doubt for the present, and shall say more on the subject in the twelfth chapter." Calvin, Commentary, Daniel 10:13.

Read the full treatment of 12:1, and it seems apparent to me Calvin is inclined to this opinion, if he is not willing to firmly contend for it. "IF it seems better..." to go with the other opinion, it is still a "suitable" opinion. He goes on to say, inveighing against Servetus, it "was a proof of his impudence and sacrilegious madness -- to adorn himself with this epithet of Christ without, blushing, and to elevate himself into Christ's place, by boasting himself to be Michael, the guardian of the Church, and the mighty prince of the people!"
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top