Does Wallace's chart identify “the archangel” as a monadic noun at Jude 9:9 from the text of scripture? If not, how does the grammar of the text prove otherwise?

At Jude 9:9 we find “Michael the archangel” (Ὁ δὲ⸃ Μιχαὴλ ὁ ἀρχάγγελος)[a]

At Acts 5:42, we find the expression,” the Christ, Jesus” (τὸν χριστὸν Ἰησοῦν). Wallace's grammar identifies this as the monadic article. It is also a convertible proposition like Jude 9:9.

[a] Ὁ δὲ⸃ Μιχαὴλ ὁ ἀρχάγγελος is a convertible proposition.

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More charts

Chart for class from class vs individual from individual.

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  • Those aren't charts, but labyrinths !
    – Lucian
    Jun 16, 2020 at 22:23
  • @Lucian I am convinced, myself, that the concept regarding the article is intuitive, instinctive, conceptual. The complicated grammatical charts are a mechanical device which tries to make rules and diagrams and structural arrangements. But Greek speakers did not need them. They understood, by intuition, why the article is used as it is used. My own view is to perceive the concept. Then I won't need the charts.
    – Nigel J
    Jun 16, 2020 at 22:44
  • 1
    Charts like these imply there was a set of binary divisions of different meanings of the article. That seems unlikely, instead it was almost certainly a family of closely related senses around the prototypical centre(s) of the article. I don't see much value in distinguishing the deictic, anaphoric, etc. Probably not the monadic either. The article was used to mean: "this thing I assume you know which I mean."
    – curiousdannii
    Jun 17, 2020 at 10:57

2 Answers 2


The chart seems useless; e.g.,

  • Does it distinguish class from class, or individual from individual ? Well, is archangel a class, or is it an individual ? Since this is more or less what we are trying to find out, we are in danger of entering the fruitlessly incoherent realm of circular reasoning.

But let's say that we will choose option (b), in the understanding that archangels, whether one or many, are to be distinguished from the rest of angels, assuming they are angels to begin with. Even so, we still ultimately arrive at

  • Is the person or thing the only one of a class ? Again, what class, angels, or archangels ? If the former, no; if the latter, no idea (see above).

Let's say we'll choose no, ultimately for the same as before; then we hit another brick wall with

  • Is the noun an abstract quality ? Dude, I have no earthly clue (no pun intended).

At any rate, Jude quotes Enoch, so your answer might lie there... or not. (How's your Ge'ez, by the way ?).

Within the Greek Septuagint (since Jude, along with the rest of the New Testament, was written in the same language), penned by Hellenistic Judaism, there are three named angels: Michael, Gabriel, and Rafael. The former is presented as a prince (Daniel 10 & 12, Revelation 12), the middle as a messenger (Daniel 8 & 9, Luke 1), and the latter as a healer (Tobit). Basically, every (human) army has generals (leading the army into battle), emissaries (to help ensure communication with one's allies & enemies), and field doctors (to heal the sick or wounded soldiers). The same, then, in a spiritual sense, also seems to apply to the heavenly armies of angels as well. So, based on this perspective, I would assume that Michael is indeed the only prince or arche of angels; or, in other words, the only archangel, properly speaking; but, of course, this still does not constitute, technically speaking, an answer to your actual question.

  • Agreed. This all becomes a matter of opinion as to which grammar book one favours and which chart one chooses to adopt. It is no longer an hermeneutical matter (directly related to scripture) but a matter of linguistic opinion. Linguistics may be treated as a 'meta language' which, layered over the actual text, is then conveyed into English : a 'translation' of the meta-language. But that is not the true translation of the real text.
    – Nigel J
    Jun 17, 2020 at 5:50
  • Linguistics should help explain how people use language, not obscure it in unnecessary categories and terminology. Alas, the Koine Greek Grammar I am most anticipating is still being written.
    – curiousdannii
    Jun 17, 2020 at 11:01
  • @ThomasPearne: My point is that neither of the two questions can be answered objectively.
    – Lucian
    Jun 17, 2020 at 11:31
  • @ThomasPearne: So Luke 1:26 implies that Gabriel is the only angel ? Or perhaps we should draw evidence from silence, and conclude that, since neither the plural archangels, nor the expression archangel [name-other-than-Michael] appear anywhere in Scripture, then Michael is the only archangel ? But, if so, then why even bother with this rather pointless question to begin with ?
    – Lucian
    Jun 17, 2020 at 12:02
  • @ThomasPearne: Allow me to unpack: Within canonical scripture, the singular angel appears two hundred times, and the plural angels one hundred times. By comparison, the singular archangel appears twice, and the plural archangels never. Furthermore, Jude is a very small letter, the size of just one chapter; so, if all that would be left of Luke's Gospel were its first chapter, where angel always appears in the singular, would you therefore conclude that its author believed that there is only one angel, and that its name was Gabriel ? (This marks my last comment on this thread).
    – Lucian
    Jun 17, 2020 at 12:40

At Acts 5:42, we find the expression,” the Christ, Jesus” (τὸν χριστὸν Ἰησοῦν). Wallace identifies this as the monadic article. [a]. This is true even though though Cyrus is called “Christ” in the OT (Isaiah 45:1, τῷ χριστῷ μου)

At Jude 9:9 we find “Michael the archangel” (Ὁ δὲ⸃ Μιχαὴλ ὁ ἀρχάγγελος)

Both phrases are examples of the convertible proposition.

Since “archangel” only occurs in the singular and and has the article here, is it a monadic noun, just like “the Christ” used in Wallace’s example?

Let's use Wallace's chart.

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  • Does ἀρχάγγελος at at Jude 9:9 distinguish class from class? - No, not generic.

  • Does it distinguish individual from individual? - Yes, the individual is Michael

  • Does it refer to a noun mentioned previously in the context or elsewhere? Yes, elsewhere. 1 Thess 4:15-17 where Christ raises the dead with an archangelic voice. At John 5:28 it is the voice of the Son of man that raises the dead. [b]

  • Is the person or thing best or worst of a class? No it's not par excellence. No one else is ever identified as an archangel in scripture and the noun is always singular.

  • Is the person or thing the only one of a class? Yes, no one else is ever identified as an archangel in scripture and the noun is always singular.

It's a monadic noun.

[a] (5) MONADIC (“ONE OF A KIND” OR “UNIQUE” ARTICLE) ExSyn 223–24 (a) Definition and amplification. The article is frequently used to identify monadic or one-of-a-kind nouns, such as “the devil,” “the sun,” “the Christ.”

[b] Voices are unique.

[c]. Gill’s Commentary

  • It is indeed possible; however, Michael only appears a few times in Scripture, and, in Daniel, where he is first introduced, he is called archon in the Greek; specifically, in 10:13, the plural is used (εἷς τῶν ἀρχόντων τῶν πρώτων, meaning one of the chief princes, as opposed to the only such archon), apparently referring to angelic archons presiding over the various nations, with Michael's portion corresponding to Israel.
    – Lucian
    Jun 18, 2020 at 4:35
  • @Lucian It's a stretch to assume that the "rulers" are also archangels as the texts don't say that. There is certainly an authority structure, but these words are not the same. I accept your point about the infrequent usage of words. But if we just accept the data we have there is only one archangel.
    – user33125
    Jun 18, 2020 at 11:29
  • Which is why I said that your view is indeed possible. One final observation: The voice announcing Christ's second coming is probably not His own, ultimately for the same reason the one announcing His first coming wasn't His either, but that of John the Baptist (Matthew 3:3; Mark 1:3; Luke 3:4; John 1:23; Isaiah 40:3).
    – Lucian
    Jun 18, 2020 at 14:01
  • @Lucian I don't understand the relevance.
    – user33125
    Jun 18, 2020 at 14:15

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