Question: “Are angels male or female?”


Question: “Are angels male or female?”

Answer: There is
no doubt that every reference to angels in Scripture refers to them in the
masculine gender. The Greek word for “angel” in the New Testament,
angelos, is in the masculine form. In fact, the feminine form of
angelos does not exist. There are three genders in grammar—masculine (he,
him, his), feminine (she, her, hers), and neuter (it, its). Angels are never
referred to in any gender other than masculine. In the many appearances of
angels in the Bible, never is an angel referred to as “she” or “it.”
Furthermore, when angels did appear, they always appeared dressed as human males
(Genesis 18:2, 16; Ezekiel 9:2). No angel ever appeared in Scripture dressed
as a female.

The only named angels in the Bible—Michael, Gabriel,
Lucifer—had male names and all were referred to in the masculine. Revelation 12:7
“…Michael and his angels.”; Luke
1:29
– “Mary was greatly troubled at his (Gabriel’s) words.”; Isaiah 14:12 – “Oh,

Lucifer, son of the morning.” Other references to angels are always in the
masculine gender. In Judges 6:21, the angel held the staff in his hand.
Zechariah asked an angel a question and reports that he answered (Zechariah 1:19). The
angels in Revelation are all spoken of as “he” and “his” (Revelation 7:1; 10:1, 5; 14:19; 16:2, 4, 17; 19:17; 20:1).

The
confusion about genderless angels comes from a misreading of Matthew 22:30, which
states that there will be no marriage in heaven because we “will be like the
angels in heaven.” The statement that there will be no marriage has led some to
believe that angels are “sexless” or genderless because (the thinking goes) the
purpose of gender is procreation and, if there is to be no marriage and no
procreation, there is no need for gender. But this is a leap that cannot be
proven from the text. The fact that there is no marriage does not necessarily
mean there is no gender. The many references to angels as males contradict the
idea of genderless angels. But we must not confuse gender with sexuality.
Clearly, there is no sexual activity in heaven, which we can safely derive from
the statement about no marriage. But we can’t make the same leap from “no
marriage” to “no gender.”

Gender, then, is not to be understood strictly
in terms of sexuality. Rather, the use of the masculine gender pronouns
throughout Scripture is more a reference to authority than to sex. God always
refers to Himself in the masculine. The blurring of the distinction between male
and female can lead to heresies such as “mother/father God” and the Holy Spirit
as an “it,” ignoring the references to Him in Scripture (John
14:17
; 15:16; 16:8,

13-14). The Holy Spirit is
never described as an “it” or an inanimate force. God’s perfect plan for the
order and structure of authority, both in the church and the home, imbues men
with authority to rule in love and righteousness, just as God rules. It would
simply be inappropriate to refer to heavenly beings as anything other than
masculine because of the authority God has granted to them to wield His power
(2 Kings 19:35), carry His
messages (Luke 2:10), and represent Him
on earth.

Recommended Resource: Angels: Elect & Evil by C. Fred Dickason.

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