But if God has become abstract, then it is not sufficient to hypostasize some of His qualities, such as heaven, height, glory: more is needed. Mediating beings appear between God and man who become more and more important for practical piety.
There are three main concepts of this mediating character. First, the angels: they are deteriorized gods and godesses from the surrounding paganism. In the period of the prophets, when the fight with polytheism still was going on, they couldn’t play any role. But when the danger of polytheism was completely overcome as it was in later Judaism then the angels could reappear without too great danger of a relapse into polytheism. But even so, the New Testament is aware of this danger and again and again warns against the cult of the angels. These are the first figures which mediate.
The second is the Messiah: the Messiah has become a transcendent being, the king of Paradise. He is also called, in the Danielic literature, which is dependent on Persian religion, the “son of man” who will judge the world. In Daniel it is probably used for Israel, but it became more and more the figure of the “man from above,” as Paul describes him in I Corinthians 15. And when Jesus calls himself the “son of man” or when the very earliest tradition called him in this way, this also means “the man from above,” the original man, who is with God and comes down when the kairos is fulfilled.
Thirdly, these names of God are increased and become almost living figures. The most important figure is the figure of God’s wisdom, which already appears in the Old Testament: the wisdom which has created the world, which has appeared in the world, and which returned to heaven since it did not find a place among men an idea very close to the Prologue to the Fourth Gospel.