Satan in the Old Testament

Understandably, we want to know details about things that are important to us, and Satan is important to us; but what does the Bible tell us? We have discovered that the passages in Isaiah and Ezekiel say nothing about Satan, but we shall now see that the Old Testament hardly refers to Satan at all; references are shockingly slight!

Satan by Jean-Jacques Feuchère

The Adversary

The word ‘satan’ is used several times, in the sense of an adversary, to describe literary devices,  messengers, and even God. For example, in Numbers 22 the messenger of the Lord confronted Balaam—you know the story. After an interesting two-way argument between Balaam and his donkey, the invisible messenger becomes visible to Balaam and tells him: ‘I have come here to oppose you (to be your satan)’.

In a second example, 2 Samuel 24 tells of God becoming angry with Israel and inciting David to take a census that leads to terrible consequences for Israel. God was acting here as an adversary. The same story, told in 1 Chronicles 21, states that Satan rose up against Israel and incited David to take the census. Apparently, that ‘satan’ (adversary) was God.

Satan in Job

The most memorable depiction of a satan comes from the first two chapters of the book of Job. It is here that adversity (satan) is given personality.

The book of Job is a part of a genre of Jewish wisdom tradition that developed alongside prophetic tradition. Jewish wisdom literature is vast and includes Old Testament books such as Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Job. Job deals with the problem of suffering.

The character of Satan appears in the first two chapters to help set up the story and then totally disappears. One can understand the story either as the experience of an historic individual or as a representation of common human experience, but in neither case must Satan be literal.

The story is about the problem of evil; but God is at issue—Satan merely moves the plot along, serving as a literary device in preparing the reader for Job’s suffering. If he is meant to be historical, I would like to know how the writer came into possession of the detailed dialogue between God and Satan.

Satan in Zechariah

Finally, Zechariah is one of the last books in the Old Testament written when, after a long captivity, the Jews began to return to their old lands. Zechariah has a vision regarding the restoration of Israel, and chapter 3 contains a passing reference in which the adversary is raised to a name—Satan.

Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right side to accuse him. The Lord said to Satan, ‘The Lord rebuke you, Satan!’

This is an interesting development!

During captivity, the Jews were cured of the thing that repeatedly got them into trouble—idolatry. After the captivity, idolatry was never a collective problem among the Jews. However, the exiled Jews were exposed to new religious ideas; the religion of Persia, in particular, seemed to influence their thinking.

Persian beliefs about God were more palatable to the Jews than were the idolatrous beliefs of the Canaanites. The Persians believed in a single, powerful God; and working with him were countless good spirits—angels. They also believed in a single, powerful anti-god and countless evil spirits—demons.

The two great powers were closely matched, although the Persians believed the god (Ahura Mazda) ultimately would defeat the evil power (Ahriman). The Jews would not accept an evil power equal to God, but the idea of a force of evil demons led by an evil leader worked within their belief system without destroying monotheism.

Interest in demons and angels grew, and literature about them proliferated, as we have already seen in the Book of Enoch.

No More Old Testament References to Satan

These few references exhausts Old Testament mentions of a satan–nothing else is said; but some might ask: ‘What about the serpent in Eden?’ We will talk about that next time.

Image credit: Satan by Jean-Jacques Feuchère via Wikimedia
I invite your comments and observations below.
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65 Responses to Satan in the Old Testament

  1. Sabio Lantz says:

    So, as you study “Satan” is it changing your opinion on the ontological reality of the critter, or did you always think of ‘him’ as a literary device. Or, gee, maybe the Persians had it right and that is one of the reasons Yahweh let his people go into exile, so they could learn about his enemy. :-)

  2. michaeleeast says:

    You are right of course about the scarcity of references to Satan in the Old testament.
    Some of the later literature derives from Persian dualism.
    This includes some apocalyptic literature and even aspects of the Gospel of John.
    These characteristics were not present before the exile.

  3. Sabio Lantz says:

    I am not sure if you know this:

    One of the earliest Christian Church “Fathers” was Justin Martyr (100-165 AD). One of his surviving works is the “Dialogue with Trypho” where in Chapter 79 he argues that the devil is real and angels revolted with him.

    Ironically, Trypho is apparently a literary device that Justin used to explain that someone else’s literary device (“Satan”) was actually real.

    As you know, Protestants largely ignore tradition and are Bible-Only (scriptura sola) driven, but Catholic and Orthodox Christians still use the writings of the Church Fathers as an epistemological balance to interpreting scripture whereas Protestants feel God’s Holy Spirit helps them see the truth and that is suffice. So mentioning Justin’s writings means nothing to them, because they’ve got God’s ghost teaching them the truth of ancient scriptures.

    • Sabio, I have great respect for the Church Fathers and have most of them in my library. I have read Justin from time to time, though I don’t think I have read him all the way through.

      However, I do not consider Justin to be inspired and above criticism; he was a man of his day just as everyone is. He gives us insight as well as valuable information about what some believers believed at that point. I respect tradition, but I do not consider it infallible.

      • sheila0405 says:

        Jesus said “When the Holy Spirit comes upon you , He will guide you into all truth.” The disciples did not have the whole truth at Pentecost. Some of the doctrinal struggles can be seen in the Acts of the Apostles. Others came much later. I am a Catholic convert, and I teach RCIA to adult converts coming in, because I have nowhere near exhausted the depths of Catholic teaching. As I instruct them, I learn new things. But I also believe that there are many other Christian denominations out there that can enlighten my understanding of theological matters. In the end, we all follow the same Jesus. That’s what matters more than any denominational label.

  4. Marc says:

    Hi, Tim. You said, “Justin was a man of his day,” and you are correct. His day was 1800 years closer to the Apostolic times than our own. I do not believe one can develop a reasonable understanding of the revelation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ if one limits it to the Holy Scriptures alone. The failure to give weight to the Apostolic authority and teachings of the early Church continues to foster confusion and sectarianism. That there is baggage to be discarded we both agree upon , yet there is a danger of throwing out the baby with the bath water.

    • Marc, I agree that Justin was very early in the history of the church and that gives him some advantage in accessing the thought of the young church.

      But Justin was already in a period when believers felt removed from the Apostles and he tried to make sense of Christianity in a systematic way against the background of a non-Christian world; this required creativity and innovation. The early Fathers were not consistent with each other in their writing.

      Justin had the advantage of being closer to the time of the Apostles than we are, but we have the advantage of surveying all the extant information of that period as well as a better understanding of the broader context.

      I do not rely on the Bible alone. I accept the Fathers as very important sources, but I cannot accept them as authority. The Fathers and the New Testament writers were human. Their writings are very important, but we have the responsibility to read them with faith and discretion unbounded by static authority.

      • sheila0405 says:

        You are correct, of course; the Church Fathers did not always agree on matters of doctrine Their writings are one tool that can be used to try to figure out answers to hard questions. I still believe that the Bible is inspired, though not always consistent. After all, the human writers who were inspired to write what they did were still that: humans. I don’t think they were robots in the hands of the Holy Spirit. I don’t believe every single word that was written down is infallible. The overall message of salvation is, but there are certain contradictions in the Bible, which point to fallible humans being used by God, just as He uses fallible human beings today.

  5. Sabio Lantz says:

    @ Tim (JWOB):

    (1) As you probably know, I changed my mind about Satan in the 80′s (beat ya by 10 years) and at the same time I changed my mind about supernatural things altogether: demons, ghosts, fairies, spirits, angels and gods. So I do not feel any god (Yahweh) let Israel be defeated for any reason any more than any god would allow any other nation to be defeated. So it was just playful — but buying into the OT theology for the sake of exploration.

    (2) I agree with you that Justin Martyr’s opinion should be weighed like all others — even those of any canonized stuff. I think all ancient texts need to be seen through the eyes of literary criticism, archeology, genetic studies, anthropology, common sense, empirical studies of all sorts. Being declared “canon” by anyone does not change my weighting — be it Hindu, Sikh, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist or anyone else.

    But I thought for those inside the Christian traditions, knowing about Justin Martyr’s opinion would be valuable and would illustrate a good point about Epistemological weighing.

    Catholics/Orthodox weigh Church fathers more heavily than Most Protestants

    Most Protestants weigh the Bible Canon more heavily than liberal protestants

    Liberal Protestants weigh their scripture more heavily than other scriptures

    Atheists weigh all scripture and literature equally

    These are generalities, of course, but you get my point.

    BTW, I enjoy the post. I also read Hindu blogs and Buddhist blogs and enjoying their debates about their scriptures.

    • Thanks for the clarification and background Sabio. I like to read other religious texts also. I have read the Bhagavad Gita twice and plan to read it again; I have read all the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and the Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price; and I have read from many other religious texts as well. I also read certain Buddhist and Muslim blogs.

  6. lotharson says:

    “2 Samuel 24 tells of God becoming angry with Israel and inciting David to take a census that leads to terrible consequences for Israel. God was acting here as an adversary. The same story, told in 1 Chronicles 21, states that Satan rose up against Israel and incited David to take the census. Apparently, that ‘satan’ (adversary) was God.”

    I am not so sure. One other possibility is that the author of Chronicle was very uncomfortable with God having caused evil so that he changed the sentence.

    Many cultures have independently believed in elves, fairies, demons, angels, and in the modern period UFOs. The standard explanation is that they were dumb or experienced delusions and hallucinations.
    But another possibility is that they experienced the same otherwordly beings in various shapes and forms.

    As I said the last time, we have normal (but by no means extraordinary) evidence that for a SMALL minority of UFO cases, this is what occured.
    I will present on future posts several cases where in any other field of inquiry, we would have said that the witness saw what he said to have seen.

    Cheers.

    • Lothar, your suggestion that the chronicler changed the older text due to discomfort from the implications is a reasonable one. And it would have been easy to do since God was already portrayed as an adversary (satan) in Samuel; it would almost be a clarification.

      • lotharson says:

        And it might be that the Chronicler already believed in some form of demons and in their leader. We just have no way to find out how far back these beliefs can be traced back, this is shrouded in the fog of history.

    • will9baker says:

      Indeed. Various religions books have accounts of UFO sightings and the Bible is no different, from Ezekials wheels to Jesus being “taken out of their sight in a cloud” in acts.

      It always amazes me that many people are still in denial about the existance of and the presence of E.T’s and inter-dimesnional beings. The evidence for all this is actually quite overwhlming and backed up by accounts from people from all walks of life today even many military and govt personell and former such, scientists, laypeople, all sorts of people. There is in our modern tech age alot of good photos, accounts, videos, and so on, but pseudo-skeptics will be pseudo-skeptics{a-prioir debunkers/denialists}.

      • Sabio Lantz says:

        @will9baker,
        (1) “Inter-dimensional beings”:
        Interesting, how did you decide that this is the physics solution for the cosmology you believe in? You don’t think it is quantum shifitng and not inter-dimensional shifts? Don’t you think inter-dimensional shifts would have consequences on the being making the shift? Again, where do you get that.

        (2) Widespread Belief does not = Valid
        As I wrote to Lotharson

        “Prevalent, widespread beliefs are absolutely no evidence for validity.”

        Lotharson apparently agreed with me on that, but do you hold that widespread religious writings with UFO should be weighed heavily as “valid evidence”? Is that why “It always amazes” you that people don’t believe in them (and in inter-dimensional beings)?

        (3) Belief Clusters
        Interestingly, I listen to many different radio stations, but I find it odd that on weekends, the same stations that have conservative Christian talk shows have night time talk shows on all sorts of miracle supplements — at times, they even talk about UFOs. Seems that belief types often come in clusters.

      • lotharson says:

        I would not say it is overwhelming but just intriguing.

      • Will, I am not convinced of ETs on earth but I certainly don’t think it is far-fetched or unreasonable.

        • Sabio Lantz says:

          Yeah, I don’t think it is unreasonable to think other life exists in the Universe — in fact, I think it is probable. That intelligent forms devised some sort of travel and are now here or have been here: well, I see no evidence of that which I would put in the basket with the types of evidence I use to decide medical treatment, house building or such things.

          Most people I know don’t “deny” as Will says, the possible existence of life outside earth — they just deny as credible the vast majority of evidence put forth by people who believe in intelligent abduction visitors, government conspiracies and such. Will was conflating the issue.

          “Intriguing”? Yes, I love SciFi too!!

          • will9baker says:

            Have you ever heard of the Dr Steven Greer and the “Disclosure Project” and the “Sirius” documentary/project? They recently had a hearing in congress, the documentary and project have many, many compelling douments and also testimony from people in govt, military, and all other areas of life. I reccomend looking into Greer and these projects, some of the testimony can be seen on youtube.

          • Sabio Lantz says:

            Yeah, I checked out Greer — right up there with all the others in that ilk. Pretty consistent. I won’t engage on this stuff. You need to set up your own “Real Science” site.

        • will9baker says:

          An open but catious mind {ie TRUE skepticism, as opposed to pseudo-skepticism} is wise, so I cannot argue with you. I personally have seen enough that I am convinced, but it is up to each individual to do much objective, cross-referanced, research and depth of thinking and looking at it {or any issue} from all perspectives and paradigms before coming to any conclusions on this or any issue. ;)

  7. Sabio Lantz says:

    Ohhh, UFOs!
    People all over the world have believed in Astrology and Demons in Volcanoes. But ….?
    All over the world cultures persecute women and gays. But …..?
    Prevalent, widespread beliefs are absolutely no evidence for validity.
    Well, not in my world, that is.

    • lotharson says:

      Of couse I agree!

      I meant that we have good modern cases with witnesses which would have been accepted in other fields of inquiry.
      My only firm conclusion is that there is something really strange going on which seems to involve an intelligence.

      • Sabio Lantz says:

        @ lotharson:
        Sorry, that made no sense to me — especially in light of the comment above.
        I know of no “good modern cases” of “elves, fairies, demons, angels,or UFOs”. Or how any reporting of these things could lead to a firm conclusion “that there is something really strange going on which seems to involve an intelligence.”

        All this tells me is that we use very different standards to make “firm conclusions”.

        It amazes me the people who make “firm conclusions” about “Satan” based on a few Bible passages which Tim shows that they themselves are problematic. I got confronted this weekend (at my daughter’s archery class) by a Bible-thomping Christian about his certainty in supernatural beings. — It was painful. His “firm conclusions” were certainly “firm”.

        • Sabio Lantz says:

          PS – that conversation took place when the Evangelical saw me reading my book on aboriginal australians and struck up a conversation about how each of us has a “hole” in our hearts and those “primitive people filled it with fear and nonsense”. And to think, he was just talking about a football game with patriotic zeal to other guys in the room — conversations I can never participate in. :-)

        • lotharson says:

          Okay, my English is not perfect and the word “firm” was perhaps too strong.
          As I wrote, I believe there is normal (but not extraordinary) evidence that in a FEW cases, something really strange is going on.

          I makes absolutely no conclusion about Satan and demons, this would be a specific Christian interpretation of unexplained phenomena. I don’t know if there is a devil or not.

          • Sabio Lantz says:

            You English is actually fantastic, and as a multi-lingual person myself, I am the last to quibble words.

            So, now you have gone down to a “few cases” with “normal evidence” — “Normal” is key here. In all areas of knowledge, there are different criteria of evidence. “Evidence” has been, and alway will be a slippery word and a favorite vehicle of rhetoric. Without specifics, talk is cheap.

            But it seems neither you or I have any evidence of Satan or demons — well, maybe I do.
            See my posts here on My Supernatural Experiences.

  8. Pingback: The Fall of Satan in the Book of Enoch | Jesus Without Baggage

  9. sheila0405 says:

    I hope this is not a repeat comment; my page failed to load. I read all of the comments and replied to some before I posted this comment. The change from God to Satan in Chronicles is one example of a contradiction to which I referred. There are slight variations in the Gospels in some of the stories as well. I still believe the Bible is inspired. But is it the only inspired work of God? After all, the Bible states that all Scripture is given by inspiration, but it does not say that ONLY Scripture is given by inspiration. Living life the way of sola Scriptura puts God in a box.

    • Marc says:

      Hi Sheila. It is very interesting that Scripture declares that the church of living God is the pillar and ground of the truth (see 1 Timothy 3:15). No where in Scripture is such a declaration made regarding Scripture itself.

      • Sabio Lantz says:

        This “ground of truth” thing is the key.
        It is the key to diversification of all sects of Christianity.

        If it is scriptures: which scriptures, how is that decided

        If it is “The Church”: through which lineage? Orthodox, Catholic?

        If through individual revelation (the holy spirit?): whose is valid?

        These three controversies play themselves out in Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism and more. How shaky indeed are all three of these: sacred texts, institutions, revelation. To me, this shows that our most valuable is reason and empiricism — which we use to test any such claims (when they are testable, and they usually are not).

        My views of religion changed radically when I saw this type of argument happen in many domains and realized this is not a Christian dilemma, but a game played in all religions — for good reason, their sources of authority are weak.

        Marc, the irony of using “scripture” to support “the Church” is fascinating, but unavoidable, I guess. All three of these weak source of knowledge seem necessarily circular.

        • Marc says:

          Hi Sabio. You raise some very interesting issues that reflect your serious consideration about what a reasonable cosmic view should be. Empiricism and reason should be relied upon to provide the greatest amount of weight to our understanding of the Cosmos, and our place in it. Any revelation that does not allow for sound scientific observation and modeling should be discarded. This means that all of the major religions of the this world have problems. My contention is that Christianity has the fewest problems in its most ancient form. I believe that the weight of evidence available points to the family of Orthodox Churches as having preserved the ancient form the best. However, I believe that there remains a lot of baggage that should be discarded. This is why I believe Tim’s blog is on the right track. Regarding E.T. beings, I believe that they do exist as a manifestation of the spiritual dimension. Regarding authority, I believe that the Creator Himself is the ultimate authority. I believe that He did indeed become incarnate to reveal His purpose of His Creation, and are place in it. To be in communion with Him in His Church enables us to be receptive to His revelations and weigh it with our own scientific and existential observations

          • Sabio Lantz says:

            @ Marc,
            I have a feel for your stances.
            So we agree epistemology based on (1) empiricism and (2) reason. But we disagree strongly on other items. But I am a former Christian so I know what you mean even if I disagree.

            (3) Other “revelations” [we disagree]
            I see not empirical or logical support for “spiritual dimensions” and thus so no mean to the phrase “revelation” be it any religion.

            (4) Personal “revelations” [we disagree]
            You, and many other Christians feel that being “in communion with [God] and His Church enables [you] to be receptive of His revelations.”
            People from lots of other religions (who totally disagree with your personal revelations) also think they have a special ear to the Creators voice. I, of course, think this is nonsense — on all your parts.

            So, #3 and #4 are in total disagreement, so conversation based on these will be unfruitful. Only conversation around 1 & 2 would get us anywhere unless our personal intuitions otherwise agreed.

          • Marc says:

            Sabio, Based upon empiricism and reason what are the reputable models that explain the existence of the cosmos and our place in it?

          • Sabio Lantz says:

            These hierarchy comments are killing me — I will stop commenting here — too hard to find our way around.
            But to answer your question: There is no way to explain the cause of the cosmos, and exchanging the sound “God” with “no way to explain” is god-of-the-gaps nonsense. It adds nothing. You should know that reply. I don’t care to get into hackneyed conversations, however.

          • sheila0405 says:

            I completely agree with what you said, insofar as the “evidence” not being there to prove the supernatural. This is where the other word you probably don’t care for comes in: Faith. And, you are correct, there are many other religions out there with sacred texts, rituals, and prayers. The followers of those religions have faith, and believe that they are on the “right” path to God. That is why the Catholic Church moved away from its former declaration “Outside the Church, No Salvation.” Now the Church recognizes that there is salvation available to people who aren’t Catholic. There is truth in all religions, and we cannot bash them. We Catholics, however, get bashed all of the time. And those like me, who convert to the Catholic religion, really get bashed, by other well-meaning Christians. So, we get attacked from fellow Christians and nonbelievers. It’s not easy to be a Catholic.

          • Sabio Lantz says:

            Hey Sheila,

            on Catholics
            I have pity on Catholics, actually. :-)
            First, my wife was raised Catholic — and though she hates Catholicism with a passion, I have eased up her distain — telling her of people like Merton and others.
            Second, I live in a largely Catholic neighborhood with great neighbors.
            Third, I’ve met many a Catholic that I haven’t liked. Likewise in many faiths and many faith-free folks.
            Fourth, I have never had a Catholic in my face about Jesus.
            Lastly, the Church has become much more open.
            That said, I have other issues with the Church, but so do my Catholic friends.

            On Faith
            Next, concerning “faith”: see my post on “<a href=Faith Defined“. The word is used in muddled confersations by theists all the time — reason: the word has many definitions.

            So, if you look at my list, there are many uses I think are appropriate.
            I won’t discuss “faith” here. But check out this other post of mine where you can see how I think even atheists have faith. (See, now you have to build another category for me.) But you are right, I don’t have faith in spooks or spirits of any sort. But by some definitions of the word “faith”, I have “faith” in other things.

            Again, no faith-talk here — visit those posts if you like.

          • sheila0405 says:

            Only the second link worked, the one which listed a variety of faith statements. I probably should have added the adjective “religious” to my use of the word “faith.” Anyway, this is what you typed for the first link: <a href=Faith Defined. I'd love to read it if you can fix the link. Thx.

          • Marc says:

            Because you can not observe or measure anything that is spiritual, empiricism does not work. That leaves only reason. Because the vast majority of people believe that it is unreasonable to conclude that a creation can exist apart from a creator, an atheist does not rely upon reason. Most self proclaimed atheist are really agnostics. They have rejected the baggage associated with religion because there is some very sound reasons to do so. The really hard core atheist has such great intellectual pride that they are inhibited in their capacity to believe in a greater intellect than their own. They can never accept the belief in a creator that they might have to answer to.

          • Sabio Lantz says:

            Again Marc, I don’t care what the V-A-S-T majority of people believe, and I would hope you wouldn’t want to go into that fallacy either.

            I believe lots of folks have greater intellects than mine, but I don’t believe in ghosts and thus certainly not that any ghosts are smarter than me.

            But Marc, I can tell by your talking point that our conversation is wasted. I will let you keep talking to Tim, he possibly shares more middle ground with you. Be well.

        • Marc, let me assure you that I am not an atheist. I am not yet certain whether Sabio is an atheist or not; sometimes he seems to adopt positions that may not be his own in order to test someone else’s argument.

          He does not seem to have the marks of a troll to me: dismissiveness, disrespect, name-calling, and so forth. I would not allow a troll like that to continue commenting on this blog.

          If you wish, I am happy to talk with you further about it by email. My email is jesuswithoutbaggage@chastaincentral.com. You are very valuable to me among my readers.

        • Sabio, I have just defended you, both here and on my Was Satan the Serpent in Eden post, against Marc’s accusation that you are a troll. And now you are being a troll.

          Assuming that your quote from Marc is valid, I don’t know why you would post his private correspondence with you publicly on this blog. It is not acceptable. I value your unique contribution to this blog, but I cannot tolerate personal attacks.

          I deleted your comment, but I won’t ban you at this point. However, I do require a good explanation.

        • Sabio Lantz says:

          Tim,
          Since you asked for a good explanation:
          (a) Here is the link to Marc’s comment on my blog.
          (b) Like your blog, mine is also public. His comment was not a “private correspondence” at all. He did it publically.
          (c) Interesting that you would delete my comment, keep his. Yet I kept his on my blog. Different treatment for Christians?

          So that is my explanation. I was defamed publicly on your blog, slandered on mine publicly against a self-righteous Christian and I came here in my defense.
          And you’d like to ban me — calling me a troll and honoring Marc.
          Interesting
          [ I wager you will delete this too]
          Sorry to have bothered you

        • Thanks for the explanation Sabio, but my last statement still stands. I read your post and all its comments. Since Marc’s comment was on your blog, the appropriate place for your response was on your blog. If you wanted to share it with me privately, I would have no problem with that. But it was not an appropriate comment for my blog.

          Once the conversation is completed, I will delete this entire thread from the record. But I could not wait until then for your comment because it introduced an unacceptable elevation of tone and included personal attack.

          I did ‘honor’ Marc as you say, but you bring an important perspective to this blog as well. I would hate to lose your contribution. Marc’s initial personal response to you on this post was unfortunate, but you are a bit condescending sometimes. It doesn’t bother me, but it invites push-back.

          Why don’t you send any further discussion on this issue to my email at jesuswithoutbaggae@chastaincentral.com, so I can delete this thread.

      • sheila0405 says:

        I agree. The Bible-only doctrine cannot stand up if viewed logically. It just doesn’t make sense to me anymore.

    • Sabio Lantz says:

      Here ya go sheila:
      http://triangulations.wordpress.com/2009/09/05/unprovable-faith/
      because you asked about atheist unprovable faith

  10. will9baker says:

    It’s an important question, the role of Satan/ The answer being, that in the old testament/Jewish scriptures Satan was’nt fallen angel enemy of the god Yahveh but worked for him, as in the book of Job where he worked for the heavanly judge as his heavanly court prosecuter.

    It’s also of important note that the modern idea of the synonymity of Satan and Lucifer is wrong too. There being no Lucifer in the Bible to equate as this Satan or as a devil{the referance in Isaiah not having said Lucifer but rather helel ben shahar- “morning star or shining one, son of the dawn”, it’s of interesting note that Lucifer which comes from latin “lvx” and ‘ferrer” or ligght-bearer was originally used by the greeks to refer to the planet Venus in it’s morning brightness pre-daybreak…thus “morning star” as well, but then again ironically Jesus is refeered to as “morning star” in a couple new testament passages himself}. Lucifer and Satan were’nt even synonymous in the christian church till many centuries after Christ, and not a widely used name for the devil or forr satan till Milton wrote his poem ‘paradise lost” just a few centuries ago}. Sadly, the pseudo-christians who wanted the faith to be based in fear, bigotry/prejudice, pharisee-acal self-righteosness, and excess unnacessary guilt twisted the scriptures and also these words/names to those ends and turned the faith into something that was not Jesus Christs intention, to have a convenient scapegoat.

    As for the Serpent in Eden, contextually when the story was created and then eventually written the passers down of the story and the scribes who wrote it did not envisios the Serpent as a angel fallen or otherwise, but literally as a talking serpent.

    • Will, it seems we have broad areas of agreement! Thanks for your comments.

      • will9baker says:

        Well, you’re welcome and thank you as well. What this highlights is that despite religious differences{ex: I being a PanenDeistic Luciferian and you being Christian, not sure of your exact theology in that context}, people of every religion and non-religion can find areas of agreement and find they have more in common than different. This is what will heal the problems in our world. ;) When people begin to THINK and research OBJECTIVELY we can find that we can really get along, and we can understand each others positions much better. So thanks for letting me share my views here. :)

        • Sabio Lantz says:

          Will, it seems we have broad areas of agreement! “
          –Tim

          being a PanenDeistic Luciferian
          –Will

          Well, Tim, if after Will’s revelations, you still agree with your statement above, your Progressive is more Progressive than I imagined! :-)

        • Sabio Lantz says:

          Will, perhaps you should start a blog and tell everyone what a Luciferian is and what a Panendeist is — or at least have one page to link to so you don’t have to clog threads with them. See my post today on “Obscur Threaders

          But yes, I am somewhat familiar — and aware that there are different flavors of each too — all the more reason to have a “Share Thyself” post to avoid these sort of thread conversations.

          • will9baker says:

            I actually do have one, here on wordpress, called “The Peoples Luciferian”, click on my name here, or google it, or heck I’ll just provide a link.= http://thepeoplesluciferian.wordpress.com/

            I don’t have any Panen-Deist blogs. But I do happen to have a Deist{in general} blog[which I don’t really spend much time on anymore, but which has several notes/articles on it.} “The Duellisn Deist”- http://duellingdeist.blogspot.ca/ I does feature a couple articles talking about PanDeism and PanenDeism.

            Thanks for your interest. :)

          • Sabio Lantz says:

            @ will,
            I peaked at your site. Very, very long posts with tons of links and no commentors — very telling, I’m afraid. And due to the content, I won’t be reading. Hope you have luck getting others to read. Since Tim has broad areas of agreement with you, maybe he will be one of your first commentors regular.

          • will9baker says:

            Sabio. Yeah. I cannot afford to advertise, other than sharing the existance of it with people. I’ve been thinking of talking to Luciferian groups.orgs that I know of and have contacts in to share it there. It’s not a very old blog, unfortunately there is not alot Luciferians out there, Luciferianism s a very minority religion. As for the content, I have a few posts on there describing what Luciferianism IS for anyone who happens to wander upon it. I have had a couple comments there, for example in my recent post about my views on abortion I had one response.
            The important thing is the info is out there and that’s why I do it. Occasionally I have someone stumble upon and comment on a post on one of my several blogs. But yeah, not enough sadly.
            I can say this though, if you{or anyone} is interested in finding out what Luciferianism actually is, my blog is a good start. ;) FYI: To anyone wanting to know what Luciferianism actually is, my post “Luciferian Scriptures” is a useful resource for finding links to books, organizations, and independent/individual Luciferian sites and info.

            Anyways, thanks for at least checking it out.

            Will

          • Sabio Lantz says:

            @ Will,
            You said,

            The important thing is the info is out there

            But I contend that the important thing is if people want to listen to you, if you are persuasive, if you are inviting, if you have relationships with folks.
            I’d encourage you to learn to write to invite dialogue.
            Keep it short. Listen to others carefully. Watch how people respond.
            These would be possibly more helpful to you than expounding yet another religion.
            Sincerely,
            Sabio

          • You are a funny guy Sabio :-) “Since Tim has broad areas of agreement with you, maybe he will be one of your first commentors regular.”

            I have his blog marked and I will visit soon to take a closer look.

  11. Pingback: Does Satan Exist? | Jesus Without Baggage

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