Angelic Clothing

Tom Verenna asked in a post on Facebook why angels wear clothing. I confess that I don’t recall ever hearing this asked, much less addressed. Surely conservative Christians ought to have answer to this question, since they believe that the Genesis 3 account is to be taken literally, and that the wearing of clothing is depicted there as a result of humanity’s fall into sin. And so were the angels who announced the resurrection to the women at the tomb fallen angels?!

  • Richard Goode

    What a BRILLIANT question!! Yes, were they fallen angels… or, perhaps… shock horror… were they not angels after all?!!

  • Tom Verenna

    Quite an interesting take James. I really have been wondering about this. I feel like it is never addressed, almost like it is presumed they would wear clothes. But like you said, clothes are a function of hiding ones shame after falling with sin. very interesting. I wonder how this relates to that little boy that runs away from Jesus in Mark. Do you suppose there is some contrasting in Luke against Mark’s secret tradition here? Probably not related at all, but it does raise some interesting questions.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

      It may just have been a concern that they not freak out the way the woman in the movie Dogma did. :-)

  • http://tunabay.com/ Keika

    In “Errand of Mercy,” Star Trek episode 26, the inhabitants of the planet Organia, assumed humanoid form so as not to shock, visiting aliens with their true, pure energy bodies. Mr. Spock referred to it as a display of ‘conventionalities’ to make everyone feel right at home. I’m sure in God’s infinite wisdom, his angels take humanoid form as well, complete with conventional attire and perhaps even cell phones; so when visiting the living on Earth, the visited don’t run in terror screaming, “Holy Moses or beam me up, Scottie!”

    • Tom Verenna

      Seems like an anachronistic, post-modern interpretation.

      • Just Sayin’

        Makes perfect sense to me.

    • Tom Verenna

      Although gotta love a reference to Star Trek.

    • David_Evans

      C. S. Lewis has the same idea in “Perelandra” aka “Voyage to Venus” (1943 so not post-modern). Two angels explain to the protagonist that his mind is not capable of perceiving their true form, and ask his help in choosing a suitable appearance.

  • Jack Collins

    In Isaiah 6:2, the seraphim are said to cover their faces and their feet with their wings. Now, given that “feet” is often a euphemism for the genitals in Biblical Hebrew, angels may have just been a modest bunch.

    (Come to think of it, “covering the feet” is also a euphemism for defecation…that would certainly change Isaiah’s vision. But dangit! It’s not the same verb!)

    • Paul D.

      Seraphim aren’t really humanoid, though, are they? They’re winged serpents from Egyptian mythology.

  • edwardtbabinski

    Where did the resurrected Jesus get his clothes from after exiting the tomb?

  • the_Siliconopolitan

    For the same reason that noöne can look on the face of God and live Angelic bods are just too bootylicious for mere mortals to behold.


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