Acts 6:15 (Stephen's angelic face)

 
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darin-houston



Joined: 05 Nov 2005
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Location: Houston, TX

PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2008 7:26 pm    Post subject: Acts 6:15 (Stephen's angelic face) Reply with quote

We studied Acts 6 this week at bible study -- Acts 6:15 speaks of Stephen's face looking like an angel as he was addressed by the Council.

Acts 6:15 (NASB) wrote:
And fixing their gaze on him, all who were sitting in the Council saw his face like the face of an angel.


The ordinary view here is that his face glowed and reflected "angelic" peace and beauty. However much we now see angels as cute little "arrow-toting love machines", that's not how I now understand them today. It seems that all scriptural references to angelic "beings" are somewhat frightening and in no way "peaceful." So, I wonder if this isn't intended to refer to the ordinary word for "messenger."

If referring to an angelic being, it would suggest to me that Stephen's apologetic that followed was full of vim and vigor and in the nature of the portrayal of angelic beings in specific scripture.

If referring to an ordinary messenger, then Stephen might be seen as having had a calm and dispassionate demeanor that irritated the Council as he prepared to simply relay the message given him by the Spirit. That's how I think I read it now.

Any thoughts?
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TK



Joined: 26 Jun 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2008 4:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

most of the translations of this verse contain the idea that the council was "gazing" at stephen or that they were "looking intently" upon him. From this I get the idea that there really was something about Stephen's countenance that drew their gaze, i.e. something extraordinary. Whether it was shining or not, who knows? Moses' face apparently did when he came off the mountain.

But reading the verse like: "And fixing their gaze on him, all who were sitting in the Council saw his face like the face of a "messenger"' doesnt make much sense to me.

TK
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darin-houston



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PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2008 7:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

TK wrote:
most of the translations of this verse contain the idea that the council was "gazing" at stephen or that they were "looking intently" upon him. From this I get the idea that there really was something about Stephen's countenance that drew their gaze, i.e. something extraordinary. Whether it was shining or not, who knows? Moses' face apparently did when he came off the mountain.

But reading the verse like: "And fixing their gaze on him, all who were sitting in the Council saw his face like the face of a "messenger"' doesnt make much sense to me.

TK


If I was angry with someone and gnashing my teeth, I would gaze at them or look intently at them without regard to how they looked.

Interpreting the verse this way does make some sense to me:

"And fixing their gaze on him since they were so angry with him, they were even more angered that his face had the deadpan and disinterested look of a mere messenger, bringing the news of another without personal ire or self-preservation against those who were persecuting him."

It's just a thought as I see no other place in Scripture that would warrant the use of "angel" in some ethereal zen-like manner that we now seem to associate the term with.
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TK



Joined: 26 Jun 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2008 7:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hmmm--

you do have a point- it is not clear what these people thought angels looked like. i have never seen one, only artistic depictions. maybe he had the "glow" (not literal) of the excitement of witnessing in obedience to God's leading.

TK
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MoGrace2u



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PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2008 9:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think "ordinary messenger" was how they viewed Stephen at all who was full of faith and power doing great wonders and miracles among the people (v8). Nor did those who disputed with him who were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spoke (v10). Who testified that they heard him declare that Jesus of Nazareth was coming to destroy this place and change the customs of Moses. I would say they were looking upon him intently as those who were testing if he were a prophet of God or not to hear what he would say.
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