An Argument for Bombadil as Valar
by B. Edward Cave
I think this article fails to give adequate credence to the Vala hypothesis. Gene Hargrove's excellent article makes a very convincing case for his Valaric potential.
It is also important to note that Tolkien does not say that Sauron would be able to conquer Bombadil as Valar. This is a common misunderstanding caused by the somewhat hazy definition of the 'avatar' like embodiment which Valar and Maiar take on. If Bombadil were to fall as Gandalf hypothesizes (although being a mere Ishtar he does not have the ability to say so definitively), it would only be from his physical embodiment at which time he would return to the utmost west. More important is Tolkien's re-definition of that statement in Letters 179 where he says "there would be nothing left for him in the world of Sauron".
I agree with Hargrove and conclude against this article.
Bombadil fits perfectly the role of Aule the Smith (and Goldberry Yavanna) and Tolkien's concern for his anthropological meaning (Letters 192) only serves to re-enforce that reading. A final thought is that the reason Bombadil appears so un-Valaric is because he has taken a 'vow of poverty' (Letters 179) which fits in well with Aule's nature and recalls the self-limitation displayed in passages like Philippians 2:6 of Christ's descent (which the devout Tolkien would have undoubtedly been familiar with). Not that this is to say Bombadil is God or Iluvatar but the principal of self-elected boundaries (as discussed by Hargrove) applies admirably.