Bible commentator William Hendriksen, while expressing some sympathy for artistic representations of biblical scenes, rightly asks if some images of the angels announcing the birth of Jesus to the shepherds (Luke 2:8-20) give the correct impression.
Take, as an example, ‘Good Tidings’ by the artist William Plockhurst.
‘The sheep are huddled together in some kind of pen. Right near them are a few shepherds. Leaning against one of these sturdy men is the faithful shepherd’s dog. One of the shepherds is peering into the sky. His eyes are focused upon a descending angel. That heavenly visitor resembles a kindly looking and very pretty young lady. Her hairdo is neat, fairly short, and with bangs! She is dressed in a lengthy white gown. Clutching her robe is a baby angel, and in the background one sees a few additional curly-headed angelets.
Looking at this pictorial representation, and then turning to Scripture and reading the words, “Do not be frightened,” one cannot help asking himself, “Who was afraid of whom?” As far as the painting is concerned, does one not rather receive the impression that the robust shepherds are shouting to the nice young lady, “Come on down; don’t be afraid of us; we’ll not harm you”?’
(New Testament Commentary)