Is Acts 12:15 about Guardian Angels


[BIBLEDRB]Acts 12:15Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition (DRA)

15 But they said to her: Thou art mad. But she affirmed that it was so. Then said they: It is his angel.[/BIBLEDRB]


I’ve seen it cited that way, but I think it could also mean they thought Peter sent a messenger. It is my understanding that “angel” and “messenger” are the same word.


Yes. Jesus confirmed in Matthew 18:10 that we actually do have a guardian angel.

Matthew 18:10 See that you despise not one of these little ones: for I say to you, that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father who is in heaven.


No other use of “angel” (αγγελος) in Acts refers to messenger, but all reference the angel from God.

Luke also wrote his Gospel, and spoke of Angels there, specifically with reference to Zachariah and Mary with Gabriel the Angel, so he does understand that there might be confusion if he were to lightly use the word “angel” with multiple meanings.


Thank you, John Martin. Typically when I answer questions about how to interpret specific verses, I try to identify the interpretation that I think is true and give reasons for it. In this case, I didn’t immediately think of any reasons for either the angel interpretation or the messenger interpretation, so I indicated the possibility of both options. In the future, I think I’ll use the evidence you’ve given in order to bolster the angel interpretation. Thanks.


You’re welcome; I think angels are highly overlooked today. It wasn’t until after reading a detailed explanation of them by Thomas Aquinas that I came to know them as “really real”. Now, I find it a “matter of fact” thing that they acted in the Scriptures, necessarily. And they do today. In my own prayers to Michael, and my Guardian, I find them as real as when I converse with the Lord in prayer. It is quite nice being Catholic.


Always read things in context.

Acts 12:14-16 King James Version
14 And when she recognized Peter’s voice, she opened not the gate for gladness, but ran in and told how Peter stood before the gate.
15 And they said unto her, “Thou art mad.” But she continued to affirm that it was even so. Then they said, “It is his angel.”
16 But Peter continued knocking, and when they opened the door and saw him, they were astonished.

Clearly when she told them that Peter was at the door, they didn’t believe it was him but that she was mad or that it was an angel.


D-R Bible, Haydock Commentary:

Ver. 15. Thou art mad, or talkest idly. — Then said they, it is his Angel. It seems ridiculous to translate here a messenger. Does a messenger speak with the very voice of him that sends him? St. Chrysostom[2] and others on this place observe, that they believed that every one, at least of the faithful, hath a good Angel. (Witham) — “If proper Angels,” saith St. Chrysostom, (T. iii. hom. 7. in laud. Paul.) “be deputed by our Lord to such as have only charge of their own existence, (as Israel said, Genesis xlviii. 16. the Angel that delivereth me from all evils, bless these boys) much more are super-human spirits at hand to help those unto whom the charge and burden of the world is committed.” Such persons as can believe that God permits evil spirits to tempt us, can find no difficulty surely in believing that the same good, just, and merciful Creator will permit good spirits to guide, protect, and assist us. Repeated proofs of both are found in holy writ. The learned Protestant commentator, Polus, on this text, says: Hujusmodi visis assueverat eo tempore Ecclesia, quæ etiam novit fideles præsidio angelorum esse circumseptos. The Church at that period had been accustomed to similar apparitions, nor is she ignorant that the faithful are secured by the protection of Angels. (T. iv. p. 1494.)


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