It is Halloween and if normal there will be all sorts of creatures out and about…..and that included “devils”…
Speaking of the Devil….what you think you know is probably wrong……
The Devil is one of those figures that pretty much everyone has heard of, and pretty much anyone who’s heard of him has a good idea of what his deal is. They know what he looks like, what his real name is, what his secret origin story is, and all about how he wages war against God for the souls of humankind from his blazing kingdom of the damned in the depths of Hell.
And while for many people, the Devil is a folkloric figure or even just a metaphor, many others believe in a literal Devil who has real impact on the world. So even though it would be impossible to be “wrong” about a folkloric Devil, if you want to believe in a biblical Devil, you should know what the Bible does — and more often, doesn’t – say about him. Spoilers: all the things you know from the first paragraph are wrong.
The Devil isn’t God’s archenemy
In the popular conception of the Devil, he is the embodiment of pure evil, and as such, he’s God’s opposite number. The idea is that God and Satan are constantly at war with each other for the souls of humanity, each sending out their angels against the others’ in order to destroy their greatest enemy. This view, however, isn’t supported by the Bible at all. As the Encyclopedia Britannica points out, it’s only in post-biblical Jewish literature that Satan becomes an adversary of God. The idea of Satan as the ruler of fallen angels who rebelled against God simply does not exist in the Hebrew scriptures.
The idea of more or less equal forces of good and evil battling against each other likely entered into Jewish (and subsequently Christian) thinking as a result of the Jews being exposed to the more dualistic religion of Zoroastrianism when they were exiled to Babylon in the 6th century B.C.
While in the New Testament Satan is portrayed more clearly as an enemy of God, he’s still not anywhere close to equal in power. The best he can do is try to tempt Jesus into abandoning his mission of salvation and worship him, all of which Jesus resists without much effort. It’s only weaker-willed humans like Judas who succumb to Satan’s power. Satan and his minions don’t stand a chance against Jesus.
Happy Halloween and just pleased to able to make that wish in person….
I Read, I Write, You Know
“lego ergo scribo”