The entities attacking Nerv and attempting to with Lilith are universally referred to as "Angels" in the English dubs, subs and also translations of the NGE manga.

In Japanese, the opening tune ("Cruel Angel"s Thesis") does describe tenshi (天使) which translates smoothly into "angel" in English (literally "heavenly messenger"), yet this hatchet does no seem to appear in the TV series, EoE, Rebuild movie or manga. So what Japanese term(s) are offered to describe them, what do they mean, and also why to be they interpreted as "angels" for Anglo audiences?

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These organisms room categorized as 「使徒」(shito) an interpretation "apostle" in Japanese sources. Shito is the word offered in the Japanese translate in of the Christian scriptures to to express to human being who possess the spiritual gift the Apostle (this different from the word supplied to describe every one of Jesus" followers, which is 「弟子」 <deshi>, the same word offered for practical worker of Confucius and other renowned historic figures).

Curiously, follow to Evangelion Wiki,

The collective grouping has actually no distinct canonical name, back the phrase "Adam"s children" was provided by Misato in a preliminary draft for episode 25"

written together 「アダムの子供達」 (Adamu no Kodomotachi), meaning "children the Adam."

According to,

the word "Angel" was retained in the English version of the display at the inquiry of the show"s Japanese creators

but they provide no citation because that this claim. They keep in mind that in an early proposal pitch, the word 「アポストロ」(aposutoro) to be suggested.

While apostles are clearly human whereas angels are supernatural, the word "apostle" is obtained from the Greek native ἀπόστολος (apóstolos) which way "messenger" (broken personally is "from" + "I send"). The Japanese「使徒」(shito) broken apart is "messenger" + "person" (same kanji as「使う」<tsukau> definition "use" or "speak"). The special capability of Apostle enables the wielder to walk to a brand-new place, preach the an excellent News there, and plant brand-new church areas with more ease than an additional disciple that doesn"t possess that gifting would be able to do. The English word "angel" is obtained from the Greek ἄγγελος (ángelos) definition "messenger." as you note, the Japanese 「天使」(tenshi) is precise "heaven" + "messenger." therefore etymologically we see that the Japanese words「使徒」and 「天使」 both present the idea the sent-ness for the purpose of carrying a message.