The Angel Raphael
Chaplain to the Tobit Family
Keywords:Raphael, Tobit, Chaplain, Spiritual Care, Exegesis
The Book of Tobit features the most well developed account of an angelic apparition found in the Bible. The deuterocanonical Old Testament story of Tobit focuses on how the distress of the righteous Tobit and his family is soothed by the divine presence in the disguised form of the angel Raphael (“God heals”). This article reviews the literary and historical context of the story. It then examines the story’s characterization of Raphael in contrast with contemporary archetypes of spiritual care. The analysis contrasts Raphael’s interactions with the most common spiritual care interventions, and uses textual analysis to expose recurring spiritual care themes.
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