reply to post by QueenofSpades
This strikes me as a very surface-analysis of the role that a satan, or the Satan, plays in Judeo-Christian religion. I'm not a Christian or a Jew by
any means, but even I see glaring faults in your review of such an important figure.
Christians refer to the devil as “Satan” and, according to basic Christian doctrine, Satan is the epitome of all that is evil.
Not quite. The Satan is an angel, variously belonging to Seraphim, Cherubim, Powers, and Archangel choirs (in Hebraic lore) before his Fall from
Grace. A satan (lowercase) is a being that tests the believer's faith in God. This is, obviously, where you arrived at the definition of Satan as "the
adversary," although they're not quite the same thing.
The Devil is another figure entirely, although modern Christians, erroneously, choose to believe that the Devil is Satan. The Devil, in actuality, is
a representation of the pagan and heathen elements that Christianity encountered as it spread across Europe. The common image of the Devil borrows
very heavily from Pan, the rustic Grecco-Roman satyr-god of the countryside; and Cernunnos,the Gaulish "horned-god," a huntsman and shaman
representing the bounty and wisdom of nature.
While modern preachers combine the Devil and Satan together, both figures have their own unique origins: one (Satan) as a construct of the
Judeo-Christian mythos; the other (the Devil) as anti-pagan propaganda against rival belief systems. Satan is a part of Judeo-Christian cosmology,
while the Devil is a response to non-Christian cosmologies.
As for the epitome and author of evil, the Bible very clearly spells that one out for us:
2 Kings 6:33
And while he yet talked with them, behold, the messenger came down unto him: and he said, Behold, this evil is of the LORD; what should I wait for the
LORD any longer?
I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.
But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive
evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.
Out of the mouth of the most High proceedeth not evil and good?
Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it?
Satan's crime was pride, not evil. Satan refused to acknowledge Man as God's most beautiful and precious creatures, and for his pride he was cast out
of Heaven, alongside one-third of the Angels, who, like Satan, believed themselves to be superior to Man, and therefore considered men unworthy of
However, much of this, even, is from extra-Biblical sources that are not considered proper canon. Works like Milton's Paradise Lost
, or Dante's
The Divine Comedy
are often the origin of much of Satan's humanization, as well as the proverbial "War in Heaven" that romantics fawn over.
All of them were 'gods'. By them, I refer to any being that was extraterrestrial in nature. If the being was not of Earth origin, ancient
civilizations referred to them as 'gods (today we call them aliens)... ...The title 'Lord' distinguishes the highest ranking god. Satan to was a
'god'; just later deemed A SATAN, which means "adversary" when he rebelled and decided to side with humanity.
The actual reason for the use of terms like elohim
has more to do with where Yhvh, the God of the Hebrews, originated, instead
of a clash between warring divinities over who would rule man. Yhvh is a Canaanite war-god, often equated with Ēl, the supreme-god mentioned in a
number of Ugaritic texts. The "gods" referred to by the term elohim
are the family of divinities worshiped by the Semitic tribes, including
Ēl, Asherah, Ba'al-Hadad, Mot, Yamm, Ashtoreth, Chemosh, and so on.
Many of these figures (Ba'al-Hadad and Ashtoreth being the most prevalent) have cognates in nearly every culture from the Ancient Near East, and over
time they developed wide-spread agricultural, royal, and religious cults. When the Judahtes and Israelites were vying for dominion of their supposed
Holy Land (as well as trying to unify themselves) it was these rival cults, like the Baalites and adorers of Ashtoreth, whom they had to wrestle power
As the Israelites and Judahites unified into a cohesive Hebrew tribe they began to use propaganda as a method of discouraging worship of the "false
gods" found throughout the Levant. By creating tales where Yhvh overcomes Ba'al-Hadad, or where the adorers of Ashtoreth are punished for their sinful
ways, it served to incite a more zealous and fervent devotion to Yhvh, whose overwhelming strength and goodness (according to the tales of the
Hebrews) was unmatched by any other god. This, in turn, created a kind of cultural identity (often passed off in the modern day as an ethnicity,
although it isn't) among the Hebrews.
There never was a "war" between two rival divine factions. Nor was there a group of deities who "chose man," as you say. Every deity, from Yhvh to
Enki, has moments of goodness and harshness to their character. To say that the Judeo-Christian god doesn't love man, but that Satan does, would be as
erroneous as claiming that the Judeo-Christian god only
loves man. The reason for the split, and cultural bias against "false gods," was
because of nationalism and nothing else.
Satan was not evil at all. Just wrongfully slandered by the winner.
More or less. Although it is really Evangelicals, and other "fire-and-brimstone" preachers, who attempt to convert out of fear, instead of letting
their faith stand by its merits alone, who have done so much harm to the image of the angel Satan and the satans.
~ Wandering Scribe
edit on 12/3/14 by Wandering Scribe because: corrected Ashtoreth's name... her pride would have been quite hurt if I hadn't