The Night School with The Book of Tobit

Jan 23, 2024    Rick Ganz

We begin our development of a more sufficient explanation of Angels than we typically rely on with the biblical Book of Tobit, a book included in the collection of Scripture that Jesus would have known. This “short story” is charming, interesting, and at times profoundly beautiful. It was in this Book that the Judeo-Christian tradition has one of its significant starting points concerning Angels.

Angels are everywhere attested in the Scriptures, and they regularly appear with Jesus, helping Him, assisting Him. Consider, how His conception was announced to Mary of Nazareth by the Angel that tradition calls “Gabriel”; His birth was announced to the shepherds by an Angel, and then the Heavens became “filled” with Angels praising this fact. And consider the two Angels who sat inside the empty tomb after the resurrection of Jesus, who met Mary Magdalene there and gave her instructions.

What is the deal with Angels? For what purpose did God create them? Are Angels “necessary”?, as some ask, who really have no idea how to think about Angels.

The Book of Tobit (written sometime between 250 BCE and 175 BCE - around the time that the Book of Daniel was written) is a good, accessible place to start our exploration.