What Are 'Biblically Accurate Angels' And Why Are They A Meme? | Know Your Meme
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What Are 'Biblically Accurate Angels' And Why Are They A Meme?

biblically accurate angels vs western angels
biblically accurate angels vs western angels
By Adam Downer

Published about a year ago

Published about a year ago

If you have stumbled onto this page, you seek a truth that has shattered the minds of many mortal men. You seek to peer beyond the earthly confines of reality and take in the truth of what awaits us once we shuffle off this mortal coil. You want to know why you keep seeing weird circle thingies with lots of eyes.

But be not afraid.

Let's break down the rise of the Biblically accurate angel meme, where it comes from, and what the deal is with all those creepy drawings.

What Is A "Biblically Accurate Angel?"

When you picture an "angel," you probably conjure an image of a cherubic human with wings, perhaps playing the lute and singing a pleasant song as it guides you through the spiritual trials of life. That's because Western art has usually depicted angels this way. However, if you actually sit down and read the Bible, angels sound absolutely terrifying.

Those cherubs thought to be Cupid-like kids protecting the Garden of Heaven? The Bible describes them as creatures that have the faces of a lion, an ox, an eagle, and a human, with four wings and straight legs.

Many of these descriptions come from prophets, including Ezekiel and Daniel. There are multiple bizarre descriptions of angels in the Bible (our buddies at Cracked wrote about them way back in 2010), but what has become the face of "biblically accurate angels" is the classical description of Ophanim, angels tasked with guarding God's throne. They are described as being several interlocking wheels covered with eyes that float through the sky. You know, this guy:

Alright, These Things Are Creepy. How Did They Become A Meme All Of A Sudden?

While our research shows Cracked pointing out the bizarre depictions of angels in the Bible first in 2010, the phenomenon of Biblically accurate angel memes began picking up steam in 2016. Then, a Tumblr thread showing artistic depictions of these supposedly accurate angels began going viral on the platform. After the thread was reposted for several years, it finally fell into meme-makers' hands in 2020.

On July 3rd, Redditor CSGoose of /r/me_irl posted a Doge meme comparing biblically accurate angels to "artistic" angels. This is also the introduction of "Be not afraid," a phrase that would become common in memes about biblically accurate angels looking terrifying yet begging their audience to not be afraid.

"Be not afraid" comes from several New Testament stories about angels, the most famous being when the angel Gabriel appears before the Virgin Mary and says "Be not afraid" before informing her she will give birth to Jesus Christ.

How Can I Make A Biblically Accurate Angel Meme?

Once the idea of the "biblically accurate angel" cemented itself in meme culture, it became a vehicle for creativity, as artists had a template from which to craft essentially whatever they wanted, so long as it was creepy and had a lot of eyes, and could joke it was a "biblically accurate angel."

If you want to make a Biblically accurate angel meme, simply find a normal object or item, draw it weirdly, and throw a bunch of eyes on it. You may just create the next biblically accurate eldritch horror.

For more information, check out the KnowYourMeme entry on Biblically Accurate Angels.

Tags: biblically accurate angels, be not afraid, angel memes, biblicly accurate angel memes, what is a biblically accurate angel,