The Synonymous Gods, Angels and Saints
The scriptural terms gods, angels and saints refer to the same beings. Each name characterizes these beings in various manners according to their position, form and/or function. Gods refers to those beings present who exercised their powers in the creation of heaven and earth. Angels emphasizes their power to bring forth messages about the future and to judge accordingly. Saints emphasizes their conversion into spirits that are given through grace at conception to certain souls to further the purposes of God on earth.
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. Genesis 1:1
In the Hebrew text of this verse God is the word elohyim. Elohyim is masculine plural. Literally, and truly, the verse would read: “In the beginning gods created the heavens and the earth. In all the verses from this first verse through the third verse of the second chapter of Genesis, the word God is the nominative masculine plural elohyim in the Hebrew text. The King James translators indicated this when they added the words Let us in the twenty-sixth verse of chapter one.
And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. Genesis 1:26
This addition would be in harmony with the rules of Hebrew grammar. In Hebrew there are collective nouns with plural endings that are treated grammatically in their context as singular.1
A number have argued that the plural elohyim refers to the traditional trinity composed of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. However a more concerted assessment within the scope of the subject washes this argument away. In Colossians, the Apostle Paul wrote that all things were created by and for Christ, the Son. (Col. 1:15-17) Where then do we find the power of this Christ in the Genesis record of creation? In the fourth verse of Genesis’ second chapter the Lord Christ is first recognized as the Lord of the gods who made the heavens and the earth.
These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD (Jehovah) God (elohyim) made the earth and the heavens, Genesis 2:4
Jesus Christ made it clear that he, in all ways, was subservient to the Father, so the gods of Genesis of whom Christ the Son was the Lord could not have included the Father.
As the Lord of the gods, Jesus Christ himself is categorize as a god by the author of Hebrews in his two introductory chapters. (Heb. 1:8) In these two introductory chapters where the word angels is employed eleven times the author quoted from the Old Testament that Jesus Christ was made a little lower than the angels. In the Hebrew text of this quote from the seventh verse of the second chapter of Psalms the word translated as angels is elohyim. Apparently, the author of Hebrews knew that gods and angels were the same and choose to utilize the word angels to harmonize with its context regarding the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ with his holy angels.
When the religious leaders of the times accused Jesus of blasphemy for saying the he was the Son of God, Jesus answered by quoting David who wrote, “I said, Ye are gods.” then Jesus stated, “If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken.” (Jn. 10:34-35)
The book of Daniel contains four records where these gods are defined as holy gods. One reads:
But at the last Daniel came in before me, whose name was Belteshazzar, according to the name of my god, and in whom is the spirit of the holy gods (elohyim): and before him I told the dream, saying, Daniel 4:8
The Aramaic word holy in this verse is the same word in a Hebrew rendering that is translated as saints in the Old Testament. The word for holy in the New Testament Greek is agios. When it is not modified or not modifying it should be, and most often is, translated as saint or in the plural as saints. Rather than translating in this manner consistently, the King James translators used the synonym holy at times. This practice shaded the truth inherent in the Greek text. One of these instances is in the first chapter of the Apostle Paul’s letter to the church in Ephesus. The third through the twelfth verse of this chapter refers to the saints of which Paul is one necessitating his usage of the first person plural we and us. In the fourth verse Paul wrote:
According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Ephesians 1:4
The word holy in this verse is agios. It should have been translated as saints. William Tyndale, whose English translation preceded that of the King James’ translators, at this place recognized this and translated the verse as such:
accordynge as he had chosen vs in him before ye foudacio of ye worlde was layde that we shuld be saintes and without blame before him thorow loue. Ephesians 1:4
This translation points to the fact that a saint by way of spirit of a holy god in him, like Daniel, is joined with an existence before the foundations of the world.
The author of Hebrews wrote that God spoke by the prophets at different times in different manners. (Heb. 1:1) The author of Daniel wrote that the spirit of the preexistent holy gods was in Daniel. In a similar manner the author of Hebrews identified those gifted with an angel made a spirit as holy brethren of the Lord in the further context of Hebrews.(Heb. 3:1) Scripture designates Moses as one in this category who had an angel. (Ex. 23:23) Peter wrote of those, other than himself and them of like faith to whom he was writing, that had the spirit of Christ within. All of these - spirit of Christ, angels made spirits, and spirit of the holy gods - are essentially the same that are written of in different manners. And those gifted with this type of spirit are saints.
1 Dr. E. Rodiger, Genenius Hebrew Grammar, p. 198
Bruce K. Waltke & Michael O’Connor, An Introduction to Hebrew Syntax, p.113
By Steve Santini