The Theist Thread - Let's Share


I'd say that it's actually a representation of the other side of Free Will - the ability to oppose God, inspite of His power and inspite of His knowledge. When Peter opposed Jesus' intentions in the New Testament, He rebuked Peter, calling him Satan.

Garden Ninja wrote:
complexmath wrote:

Ah right, he talks about "the adversary" a lot, doesn't he? It always struck me as strange that Satan was absent from the Old Testament though. I still wonder if he's a metaphor here. Not for "the evil men" but more generally as temptation.

It depends on how you read it. The word Satan appears many times in the Tanakh (OT). Jews read it as a title that has been applied to multiple entities. I did some reading recently, prompted by this discussion. From what I understand, Christians read it, and several other terms (e.g. Beelzebub, Morning Star, or "Lucifer" in Latin) as referring to the same entity.

The Lucifer title is interesting. It's used once in the OT to refer to the King of Babylon, and it's used in the NT to refer to Jesus. I've seen some Bibles with an added sentence or two correlating the "Lucifer" describing the King of Babylon in the OT with its possible application to Satan in a similar vein, but I don't know that there's any Biblical use of it for this. The suggestion, however, is clearly that Satan pre-fall was super awesome among the angels and thus the Morning Star, and the fact that the fall itself is never mentioned in the Bible is a separate issue.

I did some reading a while back that corroborates yours regarding the use of Satan in the Tanakh. In that context, I believe the name was conceived at some point to essentially simplify discussion.