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International Journal of Research and Innovation in Social Science (IJRISS) | Volume IV, Issue VI, June 2020 | ISSN 2454–6186

A Comparative Analysis of Christianity and Islam concepts of Angels: the Panacea to Religious Harmony

Babalola Emmanuel Oluwafemi
 Lecturer, Pan African College of Education Offa, Kwara State Nigeria

IJRISS Call for paper

Abstract: – Religious understanding and peaceful co-existence are the priority for a peaceful society. Places where terrorism is the order of the day are mostly perpetuated by religious groups. The cause of this act can be traced to a warped understanding of the Scripture. The emerging religious tension in Nigeria, with the problem of the Boko Haram and the effects on socio-economic situation of the country, calls for attention. The trendy religious hullabaloo in the country involving the two Abrahamic faiths makes this study important and expedient as it serves to illustrate the commonalities in the two faiths concepts of angels for the purpose of promoting religious harmony using thematic approach (the concept of angel). The study opines that to make the world a peaceful and saved place, there is need for a proper understanding and application of the different faiths’ Scriptures. Proper understanding and application of the Scriptures will help in stopping heresy and the religious leaders who are using the Scriptures to cause religious crisis in the nation. It is believed that this study will open the eyes of the scholars and religious leaders to other areas of similarities and differences in the Qur’an and the Bible, and how this can be explained in a way that it will not lead to religious crisis but lead to unity, peace and progress which would also promote socio-economic growth of the nation. Since the Scripture is the basis of self-understanding of religious groups, it is believed that the study would serve as illumination and enlightenment for the adherents of Islam and Christianity to see their Scriptures’ teachings on angels as a valuable tool in fostering mutual understanding, promoting tolerance, maintaining peaceful co-existence and ensuring harmonious relationship with one another to the overall benefits of Nigeria in particular and the world at large.

I. BIBLICAL CONCEPT OF ANGELS

There are a number of different words used in the Scripture to define angelic beings. The term “angel” derives from a Greek term αγγελος and in Hebrew ‎Ea*l=m^‎, (malak’) means messenger. In Latin translation it is Angelus (Mckenzie, 1965). The basic meaning of the word is one who is sent. It can therefore be used in an ordinary way for a human messenger or a divine messenger. In the New Testament, the word αγγελος is found one hundred and seventy five times (fifty one times in the synoptic, twenty one in Acts, sixty seven in Revelation and thirty six in the epistles). It is used of men only six times Colin (1986). In divine usage of the word, “angel” denotes a heavenly order of beings, below deity (Hebrew. 1:6), but above humanity (Hebrew. 2:7).