What Bible verses suggest that humans can become angels?

The question was originally a Truth question, "Can humans become angels?" and it attracted Truth answers. Years later, in an effort to bring it into accord with current site guidelines, it was edited to be a Biblical basis question. The edit negates most of the current answers. I see three possible courses of action:

  1. Close the question. (If we do this, I think it should be edited back to its original title so as not to confuse people about why it was closed.)

  2. Delete the "no" answers.

  3. Clarify/amend site policy so that "there is none"/"not much" is an accepted answer to "What is the Biblical basis for X?" questions.

I don't like options 2 or 3. I think closing is the best route. New questions asking for the Biblical basis "for" and "against" humans becoming angels would be acceptable.

2 Answers 2


Certainly there's a mess to clean up due to more stringent standards on the site now than when it was new.

Retrofitting old questions to new standards clearly creates problems of its own due to answers that were based on the earlier form of the question.

Over on the Judaism StackExchange, I edited a question I had asked when an answer pointed out a major error in my question. But since it had already been answered in its original form, and that answer had already received an upvote, a mod there reverted it. You can see the question, answers, and comment trains here, and the mod's comment about reverting my edit here. So it appears that editing questions into a form that makes previous, already upvoted answers obsolete is something of a no-no on StackExchange.

However, the "humans becoming angels" issue is clearly a burning question for many people. There are various permutations of it here, some closed, some still open. So it would be unfortunate for it not to be represented here, and open for answers.

Speaking for myself, I put considerable effort into the answer I posted to that question. Most of the Bible references came from the linked article, but I wrote new text, fixed some references, and changed some references to ones that I thought were better. The reason I did all that is that I did not find any of the previous answers satisfactory--and I am perhaps in a unique position to provide the Biblical basis on this subject because it is my church and "our" theologian that popularized the idea over two centuries ago, so we have ready answers to that question.

Given all that, if this question were closed, I would feel the need to create a new question that meets current standards, and re-post my answer.

However, it does seem unfortunate that the site is littered with closed questions, some of which are very popular and draw many hits. In fact, the queries posted here show that the top two hit-getters by far are both closed questions. And the question under consideration for closing here has over 20k hits, putting it in the top 100.

I realize I'm a newcomers here. It's not my job to tell you guys what to do. However, I hope there is a way to make sure that some of the most popular and sought-after Q&As don't end out getting closed and orphaned for any new answers when the only real problem is that they weren't asked in the correct form for this site.

  • Entirely unrelated, but it's not really helpful to edit posts purely to add links to the Bible Gateway. And bumping really old questions to fix tiny things doesn't help either. It's good that you're editing things, but maybe you could focus on only fairly recent posts.
    – curiousdannii Mod
    Commented Apr 15, 2015 at 5:19
  • @curiousdannii Thanks for the feedback. When I read an article, I check the Bible refs, which means a lot of copying and pasting of refs into BibleGateway if they're not linked. Since I find it useful to have the Bible refs linked, I thought others might, too. But if you'd prefer I not do it, that's fine with me. It's rather time-consuming. Commented Apr 15, 2015 at 5:33
  • @curiousdannii Also, I don't think I've actually bumped any old posts by editing them. What's happened is that I've noticed old posts that were recently bumped to the top of the queue because someone else had added or edited an answer, and then edited them myself after reading them. However, I'll keep it in mind for future reference. Commented Apr 15, 2015 at 5:36
  • Ah, I just saw that some were originally from years ago. The bumping is probably someone else's fault then! (I do it sometimes...)
    – curiousdannii Mod
    Commented Apr 15, 2015 at 5:47
  • 1
    I myself edit things when I happen to feel like it, based on how much of an improvement I think I can make, how much time I have available, and how much the current state of the post annoys me. The age of the post is not something I consider, though I'm aware that other people do. People who don't have enough rep to edit directly should remember that they're using up reviewers' time, so they should fix big problems (and perhaps focus on recent posts).
    – TRiG
    Commented Apr 15, 2015 at 12:14
  • 1
    @TRiG Yes, probably best for me just to wait until I can directly edit unless I see something truly awful. I edit things for a living, so it's annoying to see things I could fix and not fix them. Commented Apr 15, 2015 at 14:31
  • I'd suggest you ask and self-answer a question about the Biblical basis for humans becoming angels. Someone else can ask about the Biblical basis against, and then both questions can be linked at the top of the original (highly viewed) question. Commented Apr 15, 2015 at 20:56
  • @Mr.Bultitude I'd be okay with that. But to avoid having it marked as a dupe I'd have to wait until the fate of this question is resolved. Also, would there be a problem with my using the same answer I gave here in response to the new question? Commented Apr 15, 2015 at 21:20
  • The question is now closed. I don't think there'd be any problem with you reusing your answer. :) Commented Apr 15, 2015 at 21:28
  • 1
    @Mr.Bultitude Okay, it is done: What is the biblical basis for humans becoming angels? I spent some more time honing the answer to improve it overall. Commented Apr 16, 2015 at 1:57
  • That Judaism mod is not representative of SE policy in general. On Role-playing Games it's not uncommon for even highly upvoted answers to be orphaned and deleted due to question editing. That's one of the reasons we try to keep questions closed early, so you don't answer well just to find out that's not what the querent meant to be asking in the first place. Commented Apr 16, 2015 at 18:41

On 3, I'm sure that I've seen a discussion before that sometimes it is appropriate to answer in the negative, but I can't find it now. This is the closest, but it's not the same. I'm sure we could find many examples of precedence where negative answers have been well received too.

Some branches of Christianity value tradition just as high as scripture, or perhaps even higher, so sometimes the basis for something won't be Biblical. It would be appropriate to say what the basis is in an answer. But maybe in those cases the question should be edited to change from 'biblical basis' to 'basis'? But, if that were done, someone might want to later specifically ask for the explict biblical basis, such as in these two purgatory questions: 1, 2 (though they were asked in the other order.)

On this specific question, only one answer has been written since I edited the question. It might be best then to revert my edit and close the question. Because despite my changed title, the question is still a verse request one...

  • 2
    "The basis is not Biblical" (or "X denomination's basis is not Biblical") is not quite the same as "no Biblical basis exists".
    – TRiG
    Commented Apr 15, 2015 at 12:11
  • The link you provide for "closest" seems to blatantly say the opposite: "They are asking for the reasoning that some Christians believe a certain thing. It is wholly inappropriate to answer 'Well, actually, those Christians are wrong.'" Commented Apr 15, 2015 at 20:52
  • @Mr.Bultitude Well it discusses the topic, even if it answers it differently that I remembered. I'm so sure I've seen it discussed somewhere else. The question must be missing all the keywords I've searched for.
    – curiousdannii Mod
    Commented Apr 16, 2015 at 0:37

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