Are Angels Aliens?

Whether or not aliens have visited Earth is a fascinating topic to many interested in the possibility of extraterrestrial life. In addition to studying modern-day videos of UFOs, they explore ancient history for possible descriptions of alien encounters. Some people even wonder if the reports of angels in the Bible refer to aliens.

No reputable Bible scholar believes that stories of angels in Scripture describe aliens. Though scholars disagree about the possibility of extraterrestrial life, they agree the Bible never mentions it. Those who hold such views tend to have backgrounds and degrees in fields unrelated to theology.

What extraterrestrial realities does the Bible mention? What passages allegedly describe alien life? Did Moses see aliens? Did Ezekiel? Could aliens be demons in disguise? Keep reading to learn the answers to these questions and others.

Also, see Do Angels Have Wings? to learn more.

What extraterrestrial realities does the Bible mention? See below

The Bible and the Global Fascination with Alien Life

Some people think aliens are the product of science-fiction stories and nothing more. They imagine them as little green men flying around in spaceships. In some stories, the creatures from outer space are friendly and want to help earthlings. In other tales, they are hostile, often wanting Earth’s resources.

However, in recent decades, respected agencies like NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) in America and the ESA (European Space Agency) have studied the possibility of extraterrestrial life, giving credence to the field, according to some and strengthening the belief of those who think alien life exists in the universe.

Several governments around the world have also conducted research into alleged sightings and encounters of aliens. These countries include the United States, Israel, France, Russia, and China. Many have also articulated that searching for extraterrestrial life is one aspect of their space program.

Extraterrestrial Life in the Bible

The Bible doesn’t explicitly state that life doesn’t exist on other planets; it just never mentions the topic. This fact is why scholars disagree on the possibility of extraterrestrial life. Sometimes opinions, assumptions, and hypotheses try to fill the void when Scripture is silent about a topic.

The Old and New Testaments refer to extraterrestrial objects like the sun, moon, and stars (e.g., Ecc. 12:2). It also describes constellations (e.g., Job 9:9). However, it doesn’t mention celestial bodies, like other planets, that weren’t observable from Earth. It also never speculates about non-Earth life.

Some Christian theologians have speculated about alien life

While no reputable Bible scholar argues that angelic encounters in Scripture are interactions with aliens, some Christian theologians have pondered the possibility of extraterrestrial life.

Some, like Saint Augustine (354-430 A.D.), broadly considered the possibility of other worlds. Others, like Descartes (1596-1650 A.D.), considered the idea of alien life, concluding that there wasn’t a way to prove or disprove it. French theologian William Vorilong (1390-1463 A.D.) even considered the possibility that Jesus Christ could have visited other worlds and redeemed their inhabitants.

Also, see Do Angels Have Free Will? to learn more.

Did Moses or Ezekiel see aliens? See below

What Bible Passages Allegedly Describe Aliens?

Where do some Bible readers think that Scripture mentions aliens? What details in the descriptions lead them to such conclusions? There are two places in the Old Testament that some readers believe describe spaceships and aliens. The first is in the book of Exodus, and the second is in Ezekiel.

Was the Pillar of Cloud extraterrestrial?

The pillar of cloud was a visible reminder of God’s presence when Israel wandered in the desert after leaving Egypt and before entering the Promised Land (e.g., Exod. 13:21-22).

One passage associates an angel with the pillar: “Then the angel of God who was going before the host of Israel moved and went behind them, and the pillar of cloud moved from before them and stood behind them” (Exod. 14:19, ESV).

Some Bible readers, who aim to find evidence of aliens in Scripture, argue that the “cloud” is smoke or exhaust from a spaceship. It’s unclear why proponents of this interpretation believe that alien spacecraft would have this kind of emission. Solar power, for example, wouldn’t have such a discharge.

Nevertheless, they reason that if this passage describes a spaceship, the creature associated with it must be extraterrestrial, not an angel. Since the text explicitly states that the figure associated with the cloud was an angel, the interpretation of an alien appears to be based on reading modern images into the text.

Did Ezekiel see alien life?

Like the passage in Exodus, some think a scene in Ezekiel has the characteristics of a spaceship, and its creatures are aliens. However, the prophet never mentions alien life. Instead, he summarizes his vision as “the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord” (Ezek. 1:28, ESV).

Readers who look for evidence of aliens in the Bible think Ezekiel’s description resembles a spaceship. “As I looked, behold, a stormy wind came out of the north, and a great cloud, with brightness around it, and fire flashing forth continually, and in the midst of the fire, as it were gleaming metal” (Ezek. 1:4).

The prophet describes the angels this way: “And from the midst of it came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was their appearance: they had a human likeness, but each had four faces, and each of them had four wings” (Ezek. 1:5b-6). The creatures Ezekiel describes are identified as cherubim later in the book, leaving no doubt about their nature and identity in chapter one (Ezek. 10:1-3).

The Tyndale Concise Bible Commentary reflects the majority interpretation in its explanation. “Interpreters often become so engrossed in guessing the meaning of the details of this vision that they overlook its major significance. It was a vision of the glory of the Lord (1:1, 28).” [1]

Also, see Can Babies See Angels? to learn more.

angel alien
Could aliens be demons? See below

Are Aliens Demons In Disguise?

For some orthodox Christian theologians, a more likely explanation for some alien encounters is demons, not angels. In support of this possibility, some cite 2 Corinthians 11:14, “And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light” (ESV).

Mark Hitchcock is a pastor and writer who thinks demonic activity is a possible explanation for some UFO sightings. “Based on my research, I conclude that there are no genuine UFOs, aliens, or extraterrestrials. The 5 percent or so of inexplicable manifestations are probably best explained as demonic forces passing themselves off as extraterrestrial beings in order to draw and distract people away from the true God.” [2]

Also, see Do Jews Believe In Angels? to learn more.

[1] Tyndale Concise Bible Commentary. p. 298.
[2] 101 Answers to Questions About Satan, Demons, & Spiritual Warfare by Mark Hitchcock. p. 77.

Daniel Isaiah Joseph

Daniel's seminary degree is in Exegetical Theology. He was a pastor for 10 years. As a professor, he has taught Bible and theology courses at two Christian universities. Please see his About page for details.

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