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Any time we see angels pictured they tend to have a halo. But where did this come from?

When you hear people discribe angelic visitors they rarely if ever remember a halo. It's usually more of a bright white light... And the bible says nothing about halos so can someone tell me where this came from? I'm just really curious.

I know where the idea of horns and a tail for the devil/demons came from. But the halo, I can't find a reason for.

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Asked by SabrinaMBowen at 11:36 AM on Oct. 30, 2009 in Religion & Beliefs

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Answers (9)
  • this is just a guess, but those skull caps that jewish men wear "bring them closer to god" because it is worn on the temple...I wonder of the halo is the same concept?

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:52 AM on Oct. 30, 2009

  • good question... I have no idea... however most people I know including myself have never seen halos but just a glow around them!

    Answer by Shaneagle777 at 12:03 PM on Oct. 30, 2009

  • That's what I'm saying. Shaneagle. No one that clames to have seen angels ever sees a halo. But if you ask someone to picture an angel they will picture a halo (in most cases) and most religious pictures/paintings have them. I know why demons and devils are pictured the way they are. But I can't find any reason for the halo... And it's been really bugging me lately! Don't ask why, just is!

    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 12:09 PM on Oct. 30, 2009

  • The halo is an artistic construct designed to show divinity or holiness, it began to be incorporated into christian art in the 4th century. Wikipedia has a pretty thorough explanation of the symbolist of the halo and how it was incorporated into art in various cultures and times.


    Answer by Anonymous at 12:23 PM on Oct. 30, 2009

  • I remember from my art history class that paintings from the middle ages showed a glow around the head that represented their holiness (I think) so obviously angels would be holy & thus have the glow.

    Answer by nysa00 at 1:04 PM on Oct. 30, 2009

  • I found an interesting Wikipedia article on the halo in art, it looks like the author used good sources...

    It seems that it was used long before the middle ages.


    Answer by nysa00 at 1:06 PM on Oct. 30, 2009

  • I personally have always thought it is because they glow a radiant light. Maybe they sort of light up a room and the only way people can describe it is to say a ring of light around thier head. I think we just adapted it in art and other media to be a literal ring.

    Answer by amber710 at 1:08 PM on Oct. 30, 2009

  • it's interesting as a muslim we can only describe the angel as we have proof of his description frm the Quran or the Prophet and even then we can't imagine what the angle truly looks like. We know the angle is made from light, is neither male nor female and can have two , three or fourwings and that the angle gabriel also has been known to be described as having 600 colorful wings and has been transformed into men when Allah has disclosed them to some of his prophets. At no time was a halo or light upon his head describe. allah says in the Quran (what is translated as)

    All the praises and thanks be to Allâh, the (only) Originator [or the (only) Creator] of the heavens and the earth, Who made the angels messengers with wings, - two or three or four. He increases in creation what He wills. Verily, Allâh is Able to do all things. (Fatir 35:1)

    Answer by Aasiyah at 1:42 PM on Oct. 30, 2009

  • Anon beat me to the punch - It was first used as a form of symbolism or interpretation of the light by artists.

    Answer by mogencreative at 4:57 PM on Oct. 30, 2009

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