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For hundreds of years now, numerous Christian theologians and academics have helped construct a complex hierarchical order for all of the Biblical angels. This organizational system was mostly devised in the medieval era, and is commonly referred to among Christian scholars as the Angelic Choirs, or the Order of Angels. Depending on the which denomination of Christianity that the hierarchy belongs, you will very likely find that they can vary to a greater or lesser degree. Some of the denominations even leave out certain branches of the hierarchy, and opting for a much more consolidated or basic version. Where these variations occur, you will most likely find the difference is caused by a difference of opinion regarding a certain element of scripture pertaining to any of the specific angelic beings. Also because some of the angel world is built upon noncanonical Biblical scripture that isn't recognized universally, many discount those angels totally.

One of the most predominant and renown classification systems was published in the 4th and 5th century by Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite, and was entitled The Celestial Hierarchy. In the centuries to come, this book would act as a cornerstone for extensive expansion and refinement of the angelic orders, with some derivative works more or less picking up where Pseudo-Dionysius left off, while others started completely new tangents, or even contradicted the author's primary conclusions. For example in the Middle Ages theologians placed the archangels and angels at the lowest point in the hierarchy, with their reasoning being that these ranks of celestial beings were almost exclusively involved in the affairs of mankind, and thus were furthest from God. Many conclusions like this one and others, though different but entirely derived from traditional The Celestial Hierarchy, would go on to be recognized as the new academic standard.

The highly influential works of both The Celestial Hierarchy and it's predecessor the Summa Theologica, were for the most part built up around the New Testament scripture of Colossians Chapter 1, verse 16, and Ephesians Chapter 1, verse 21. Obviously Old Testament Biblical scripture played a role as well, especially with regard to establishing the first sphere of angels, however it was mostly through the New Testament sources that early Christian theologians were able to piece together three angelic hierarchies, spheres, or triads of angels, each containing three choirs or orders. It should be noted that even with scripture to use a foundation, the Order of Angels was not formed over night. It took centuries upon centuries just to piece together the original draft. Obviously even after it was constructed, there were major changes and revisions initiated years later after the fact. Even today there are academic quarrels over specifics within the order.

With regard to the most traditional and mainstream representation of the angelic hierarchy itself, it proceeds as follows. There is the First Sphere, which at the top are the Seraphim, then Cherubim, then Thrones. Then below the First Sphere is the Second Sphere. Within the Second Sphere there are the Dominions, Virtues, and Powers. Then finally there is the Third Sphere which is the lowest of the three, and within it are the Principalities, Archangels, and Angels. As mentioned above, the angelic hierarchy that I have outlined is the most commonly accepted version, however be prepared to come across numerous variations. Obviously outside of traditional Christianity, you will find that the Judaic and Islamic angelic hierarchies are totally different, albeit loosely based on some of the same characters or beings. That brings this article to a close, we hope that you had fun reading through it. Be sure to bookmark our website, so that you can visit us again soon.
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