The following is an excerpt from an interesting article written by Wayne Coppins over at German for Neutestamentler discussing the work of German New Testament scholar Michael Wolter:
Wolter has a striking interpretation of the significance of Luke’s mention of “the multitude of the heavenly host” in Luke 2:13. He writes:
Something happens that never occurred before in the history of Israel. Not only a single angel but the whole heavenly host, which surrounds the throne of God…
Luke describes what has never happened before and in this way expresses the significance of the birth of Jesus. The distance that separates heaven and earth from each other is removed for a moment; the earth becomes the place of the heavenly praise of God and humans become its eyewitnesses.
What I find striking about Wolter’s analysis is the fact that he interprets “the multitude of heavenly host” as a reference to the whole heavenly host rather than simply to a big group of angels, which functions on his reading as a way for Luke to highlight the great significance of the birth of Jesus.
You can read the original article here.